“Parenting is a job that you really can’t take personal. You have to have a sense of humor and you cannot let it get to you”
Is being a single parent difficult? Izzy Rehaume is a musician who became a single Dad of four lively and energetic boys. Being a clueless dad, he started taking down notes on how to take control which eventually became a book titled “When Life Gives You Children”. In this book, he incorporates humor as he reveals the complexity of parenthood.
On this episode, he shares his experiences as a single dad. Although it is common to find single mothers out there, it is refreshing to hear parenting advice from a single father. Winning the custody of the kids when they were very young, Izzy spent years mastering his job as a single Dad and ultimately conquered – and he is here to share this journey with us.
Listen to episode 84 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.
84: Show Notes
Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links:
When Life Gives You Children – To be released
01:06 – Becoming a solo parent
02:11 – Single Dads
04:53 – Parenting as a job
5:19 – Diet for the kids
12:55 – Drug addiction
19:10 – Divorce of parents
25:23 – Independent parent
Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.
Dr. Veronica: Thanks again for joining the Wellness Revolution. I have a guy who’s not quite a rock star but he really is a rock star because he’s played a lot of festivals all over the place, but he is his joy, his pride and joy is being a parent. And so, he has a website: whenlifegivesyouchildren.com to help people who are thinking about having children know actually what it they could be inform, written from the perspective of a musician and a humorous one at that. So, Izzy Rehaume, welcome to the Wellness Revolution, thanks for being on.
Izzy Rehaume: Well thank you dr. Veronica. I’m glad to be here.
Dr. Veronica: So, Izzy, tell us how you got a cool name. So, Izzy is like definitely a music name but you just like, okay but, tell us how you got started writing about this. You have a backstory to this that sort of probably kept you from being that international superstar that you probably dreamed about, what happened?
Izzy Rehaume: Well, I got married and we had at that time, three boys. And things went a little bit askew, it ended up in a divorce, I won custody. That’s a long story in itself but won custody of the boys when they were very young and ended up raising in a single parent also trying to be musician. I kept the kids as best I could in control but that was difficult. So, I started taking notes and eventually through the years it really became a book. And so that’s basically how it started.
Dr. Veronica: Wow. So, what was it like being we always hear the plight of single mothers and we rarely talk about single fathers. When we do talk about fathers the conversation tends to go off deep into the dead-beat dads and the jerks. We rarely hear about fathers like you who have taken full responsibility of their brood. So, what was that like that you were the parent in the playground with all the mothers?
Izzy Rehaume: Yeah, it is interesting my hats goes off to all of the single moms. I just, I don’t know how they do, I don’t know how I did it. It’s just something that you have to do. You have to do, you just have to take responsibility and control all over the situation the best you can and just move on. So, I really applaud at single moms and I know there are dead-beat dads out there and their dead-beat moms out there. It’s very difficult for the kids, it’s very difficult on the other parent all the way around but it’s it is something that I have been validated for. And my kids are grown now they’re very successful in what they do, I must have done something right a long way. I’m very proud of them but to answer your question, it’s just something you really have to do. And I talked to different parents along the way, I’ve met a couple of other single fathers as well. And it is a different world I think being a single father. People look at you a little bit different especially as a musician, a lot of questions about how can I raise possibly raise our kids and so forth and so, you have to go to work, moms go to work, dads go to work and you have to adjust for this. So, it’s just a responsibility thing.
Dr. Veronica: So, you started your website when life gives you children because you have the desire to help other parents. Tell us a little bit about how that came to be because it’s humorous, you read it and it’s funny and you know parenting is funny. I got and if you don’t laugh you’re going to be crying. So, anybody if you’re too serious don’t even think about being a parent, that’s the way I see it. And I think today parents take themselves so seriously and whenever something, doesn’t, people. Here’s how parenting works: When your children do well, you feel proud, everybody says “You’re a great parent”. When your child does something wrong everybody looks down like you didn’t do something right even though your kids kind of have their own personality. And I’ve seen wonderful people who have the crappiest parents and people who are not so upstanding citizens have really upstanding parents. And it’s made me have a lot more compassion being a parent for other parents, so how do you see that?
Izzy Rehaume: Very much the same way. Parenting is a job that you really can’t take personal. You can’t. You have to have a sense of humor and you cannot let it get to you. Yes you want to learn your lessons and move on you don’t want to you don’t want to sit in guilt you know for three or four weeks or whatever because you may have said something wrong. You have to be able to acknowledge it, apologize to the kid, you know, say “Hey, dad I, your dad was wrong” and move on and correct it and just move on. You cannot take it serious.
Dr. Veronica: So, you have something else to say to parents especially about diets for kids?
Izzy Rehaume: Well, I was listening to a previous show that you did. I apologize I don’t remember I remember there was a shooting at those shooting stars or kept all shining stars camp, shining stars. I think is what anyway is a pretty sure you did and so I was listening to that and I’m really applaud the you know this is where “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”. Well, this is where “When life gives you obese children, you do something about it”, you know. You create a system you think yourself and create a system that helps children. Now, with my kids they were eating all the time but in my role, that’s healthy. I would just throw the box of cereal and I’m get out of the way, you know. They were I mean they were running and playing and soccer and you know very healthy and active. None of them were obese but I do see it and I do also see a lot of times the children are obese because their parents are obese. And it’s unfortunate but I see that myself and you brought it up in that in that segment you were a lot of times that’s the case. So, as a parent one of the things I kind of go into my book as well is a you you’re being watched you’re living in a fishbowl not only by your neighbors and friends but your kids are watching you and they learn. They’re sponges so, they learn from you. So, really ate as healthy as possible and especially with the sugar you just give it’s got a cup of sugar down as much as you can you know but none of my kids were abused and they’re very active. Very, very much into their own interest but I think diet is a major issue you know, just cut the sugar out. And you know, I think we can do that as parents just really, really do that. Help each other out with that, you know.
Dr. Veronica: Yeah. We, well, we have to be willing to do it ourselves and I think a lot of parents. Okay, so, I know now from me for my health practice that sugar is much more addictive than drugs of any sort. So, when you talk about cutting it out and do so all and you get that look because probably if you’re looking at a child who’s having a problem many times the parent has that problem too and they cannot imagine cutting it out for themselves so therefore they wouldn’t cut it out for their kids. But one thing for parrots understand about that is it’s not when people are saying this it’s not necessarily a judgment. I was with a friend about a month ago and she had her granddaughter and when this is a friend I know from working out, very fit, and I looked at her granddaughter and I was like “Oh, my gosh. We have to do something for her”. And I said to the grandmother she said “Oh, god I’m so glad you said something because I don’t want to say anything and yeah she’s obese and we got one of howling. What are we going to do about this?” And she actually had said something to her granddaughter about living a healthier lifestyle and her granddaughter was hurt and offended. And it wasn’t the intent of the grand mom to offend granddaughter. She’s worried about the health of her child not just emotionally but physically because that she’s young and has all a lot of extra weight. So, one thing I want to say is a lot of times there’s help out there for you. People think it’s just about restricting food, I know a lot of people who have this including children now do have problems with their metabolism with thyroid problems with autoimmune disease with insulin problems other hormones like leptin in which simply restricting diet restricting calories or just cutting out sugars is not necessarily going to do it and there are practitioners out there that can help. So, reach out for help for yourself and for your child. But, yeah, that camp was for of children who have gotten markedly overweight and their parents says, “We want to figure out how to do something about it.” Unfortunately, I’m concerned that children who go to camps like that are going to look back and said “Oh, my god. My parents sent me to a fat camp.”
Izzy Rehaume: Well, it is true and there is a lot of Education where the metabolic type of person that every individual is a little bit different. So, for one individual you might want to take yeast or cut yeast out or another individual if you want to boost protein a little bit and so, I’m hoping that more is put into helping children testing them for the metabolism you know, blood types because your diet is different for everybody. And so, I think you might be right I just know that sugar is a is too much sugar for pretty much anybody is a common kind of thing but I think you’re right you have to really kind of get a little bit deeper. Fortunately, in my mind with my kids none of them had that issue, but it does happen, so.
Dr. Veronica: Yes. It is about digging deeper and not judging yourself or you know you might have a kid that you’ll say well we all eat healthy and he always or she always goes towards that you just you mentioned something about so for instance having too much yeast in your systems and yeast will cause you to crave carbohydrates and there is a laboratory testing that can be done for it, it’s not the traditional stuff you find when you go to the office but there are ways to figure out what’s going on and in fact people can go to “23 and me” and get their whole genetic sequence and that can be used to figure out what metabolic type you are, some very specific to your particular type. Not you take a test and answer question but this really what it is because this is what you were born with. And for people who are interested I will just put right here to email me about this because I have a special practitioner code where I can actually get people discounts for “23 and me” testing but even if you don’t get a discount it’s a hundred and ninety-nine dollars to know all about why you are the way you are and down to that when you get this test I don’t know if you’ve ever had this Izzy, but they can predict your height and weight mix the base or your genome which is quite interesting to see how accurate, how much information without them know anything about you other than here is the letters that go together whether or not you have a dimple whether you’re a sweet taste or savory taster, you’re predicting your brain function. There’s just so much stuff that that is fun but behind that is your typing that a practitioner knows how to use it can use to determine what can we do to help you get the result that you want for your health and that also means for your kid’s health. So, I’m putting that in right there.
Now, we talked about food, let’s talk about drug addiction. What’s going on today? Parents are just running to their doctors and they feel that there’s no other choice because their kids out of hand and they need that prescription for something. What do you say about those, those excess prescriptions and then on the other side being addicted to drugs?
Izzy Rehaume: Well, that is a good point. That also goes back to the nutrition I believe because when kids are going when they’re growing their glands are growing their secretions are imbalanced, they’ve got social pressures, they’ve got internet pressures, they’ve got the where their body is changing, so, naturally, they’re going to be missing motional at times naturally, they’re going to have a lot of these issues. My concern is that there may be a little too much coming from the pharmaceuticals calling these natural behaviors “Disorders”. In my world and I’m not a doctor obviously, but I watched while my kids were growing up a lot of this through the teenage years, it is very difficult, it’s very difficult for boys and girls to go through these changes as well. At a certain point, it all of a sudden now they have these learning disorders all sorts of disorders. I think over a thousand disorders now that they put in categories and you know so they give them psychotropic consciousness altering aggression stimulants like Ritalin, Prozac these types of drugs at labeling the kids stupid and then pumping them forward these drugs knowing that their glands are trying to grow, they are in these different situations the pressures are there and they’ve got you. Now, on my personal side, one of my oldest son’s friends committed suicide. The school counselor called my son in youth in high school he was probably 11th grade, tenth or eleventh grade, called him in unbeknownst to me and try to funnel him directly to a particular psychiatric office that the school gets kickbacks from. So, the way that’s set up I don’t, I don’t know if I should but anyway way set up is the more kids that the public school can put on the disability list, the more funding the school gets. And so, it goes through the school counselor and it’s all legal but this is how they do it. And so, back to the story is my son Joseph came to me and said “Hey, dad, the school counselor wants me to go on some sort of drug”. So, I called the school counselor and he said “Well, yeah because we want to help you know so-and-so died, we want to help his emotional state”. And you know, I said “Well, thank you for letting me know. Let me discuss with my son”. Meanwhile I was learning how to be a homeschool parent and this was roughly in April. Well, you can’t just pull your kid out of public school and putting them in whole school in the middle of a semester, you have to wait till either the end of the year or so I had about two months going back and forth with this counselor because he was he’s working for his money but he finally said look mister I am I don’t have to tell you if I’m going to pull him out of school or not and that’s true, in the state of Washington they can pull the kid out and they have 24 hours to hold the kid put the kid wherever they want before the parent is notified. And so, I started really delving into the laws and this is in a mid to late 90s. I don’t know if the laws have changed but at that time in the state of Washington that was a situation. And again, I was very polite to the to the counselor by then it was school was almost up, it was the beginning of June. I said “Well, thank you very much Mr. so and so, on and I will get back to you”. So, I strung him along for that two months and then I instantly pulled him out but he only school in after that which is a whole other home school is not easy. So, that’s another responsibility thing that some parents you know, other parents that we’re learning how to homeschool, we’re going through similar situations not just with the drugs not with the school counselor funneling the kids you know into the into the drug world but for the academics. Great teachers but they have their hands tied by bureaucracy and they get frustrated. It’s like a lot of doctors a lot of MDS would like to expand and grow and learn more about nutrition and apply it but a lot of them you and I’m sure you know way more about it than I do but talking to my doctors they are discouraged. They’re upset because they can only go so far before they’re confined into the rules that they’re in. I might be going on straight here but.
Dr. Veronica: I didn’t interrupt because it’s interesting to hear people need to hear to be aware of the experience that other parents are having because when there is an issue in school, especially, if it’s something that’s not what we would consider positive parents are hesitant to talk about those experiences. I will let you know I also and further people were listening I homeschooled my kids for about because I didn’t feel there are any school options that were acceptable at that time. It was in a time you know all the eyebrows were often looking at a strange and all the other type of stuff and my son’s my oldest son told me we did it for a year and then we found another school option that we might said “Oh, now that was the best year of my schooling. I learned most I learned of any year of going to school.” And it was a time where not only was I homeschooling, I was also practicing in my medical practice and so I managed to determine and it was that was a very stressful year for me personally. Probably on my way to changing what I did career-wise totally because it was the stress level was just so high. So, I appreciate hearing your story. I want to ask about divorce because people feel that the worst thing that could happen to kids is divorce. I think now divorce is normal. More people are divorced than not. So, it’s normal. Relationships come and go marriages come and go. I think you know, now I am divorced and so I’m obviously biased about it and I’m going to put the positive spin on it. I think that your child has to learn how to be resilient in one way they learn how to be resilient is when you have something happen in your family of origin I the most common that can happen is a divorce where your world just how you thought you saw things it’s not like that and you everybody has to move on. Well, you know I if I could have done it I used to feel like a failure because I’m like I can do everything else but I couldn’t stay marry. What’s the matter with me? And then I had a friend tell me you were married for that long that’s a success. What how can you call it a failure? Some people don’t make it. Sorry you made it that long and so all of a sudden I started saying “You know? This really is all about perception.” It really is all about perception. So, what would you say to parents about divorce? Kids about divorce? My thing is something I’ll get over it move on it’s not a big deal everybody does it relationships come and go but what I say to parents is stop alia-nating the other parents unless they really are a hardened criminal. But I found that the path a lot of times parents that do get alienated aren’t hardened criminal, it’s just that the other parent is vindictive. Talk about that from your perspective because you ended up with full custody of your children so you must have been through some stuff with that lady.
Izzy Rehaume: Yes, well, my parents got divorced when I was12 and I have two sisters close in and range. And it was extremely difficult so I knew when I got the divorce my kids were very young. Oldest one was three at time. So, it’s three years, two years old and nine months and so what happened in my case is the mother got into the heavy drug use after the third child. And so, I went to my attorney I said “Hey, there’s some this is really getting out of hand. I’m gonna have to I really believe that the kids life’s, my life is in danger”. And he just basically said “Well, if you go for custody at the divorce you won’t win”. So, he instructed me to go ahead, give her custody and he said no matter how difficult it is keep track but she will mess up. So, I said okay you know and this strategy worked. In my case it was very extreme by the time I got to court my attorney and I had to suppress most of the evidence hard evidence that we had against the mother because it was just too overwhelming and may have been too difficult for the court to believe. So, in my case I had to actually suppress evidence and tailor the case very radiantly with the courts. Judges were very, very good. They they cared in my case about the kids do not care so much about the parents as much as they wanted to know the welfare of the kids. So, in my case her parents testified in my behalf.
Dr. Veronica: Wow.
Izzy Rehaume: And even though this was the case, she basically blew all of my witnesses out of the water. She was very convincing. As a side note, she if you walked across the street, she could convince you did not walk across the street. She was she’s very cunning and convincing and if it were applied in a good way she would be very successful and there you know, well, anyway, I don’t want to go on top but in my case, I had no choice but to rescue the kids and it worked. And fortunately, it worked. If the two parents are saying and they decide on a same level you know I don’t want to be with any more we don’t want to be together anymore, then you can have a very I think a sane divorce and you can explain to the kids and get the kids feedback and say “Well, mommy and daddy are don’t want to be married anymore but we’re still friends”. And maybe work it out give the kids a little more decision-making authority or just a little more input if it’s sane then you can get past that point and do like I say you go okay this into that happen let’s move forward. I think that’s a very healthy angle at it.
Dr. Veronica: Yeah, it would be nicer when we’re like that. And it’s interesting when you’re going through marital discord even with people who are quote unquote saints because I considered myself saint and I consider my ex saint but some time as we were going through that process things they can goas saint as I would have liked them to go. Something went off the rail and it’s the system, let’s call the system where you got lawyers battling each other because it really is a battle of the of who’s going to have the most vibrato against lawyers sometimes. It wasn’t there to figure out how to make us agree faster and quicker. I mean now we ended up us as two individuals splitting realizing that if we thought a lot the lawyers would make a lot we lose a lot yes. But we were able to come together and say all right let’s agree to this set the other thing and he said “Okay, I’ll do this.” I said “Okay, I’ll take that.” The legal system was not set up to be that way but I also will admit because there’s a lot of people out there that don’t have one benefit that I have – being a professional woman who can take care of herself allowed it so I had more control. I know there are a lot of women out there who are not able to carry stuff on their own and so they end up in a real bad situation. So, for people who are thinking about being parents if you’re a woman out there or a man out there my mom said if you know if you’re not religious excuse this but God bless the child that has her own, make sure in your relationships you make it so that you can figure out how to do things on your own you don’t just step back and do nothing. I don’t care if you’ve got a bunch of kids because if I can figure out how to run a practice with kids, you can figure out how to do something with the kids so that you have some independence and say so and that’s one thing I say you know sort of people who recommend that women just quit everything I completely disagree with that. You may stay home for a second to get the baby going but then handle off to somebody else because even putting them in daycare whatever is going strengthen their immune system. I’m going to put the positive spin on this. Seriously, you don’t know what’s going around other people because that also is going to strengthen their immune system. So that they’re used to doing something if you wait until they’re five to go to school then they haven’t been around anything a lifespan so sterile and they’re you know they’re antisocial and clean you know, yes, this is from a professional mother I’m obviously on that side of god bless the child that has her own especially women never give up never, never, never give up your independence, keep it somehow. So, that doesn’t mean you don’t work together in as a couple, that’s not what I’m saying. You work together as a couple but you have to make sure that you are prepared if any issue happens that you can figure it out on your own without having to beg some judge to give you something.
Izzy Rehaume: A very good point. I think yeah, the necessity level gets you to a point where you really have to take responsibility for yourself and for your future and you move forward. It’s that I know as a man when I see a woman do that that’s attractive. It’s attractive because you know that that person is a real person and really deserves admiration. And so, it becomes more of a comic honor Audrey. It’s more and again men have to do the same thing. I think that might be attractive to a lot of women you know as a single parent musician dad. A lot of lot of opinions and stuff but most of it were better most of us validation you know from moms and single mom sort of man I took on quite a got a handful there but you have to do it in a necessity level you know, it’s either going to break you, there’s only two ways, you either win or lose. If you know basically you can’t I just can’t succumb so, I don’t have it in me to succumb to being a derelict. And you know and that could have happened people to do that but I think you’re right it’s very admirable and it’s very attractive to society as well when you have that ability to just move on as yourself and it helps everybody around you it’s successful it’s you flourish that way so I admire you for doing that and I admire anybody for doing.
Dr. Veronica: Yeah and I know you have four sons and I got three sons and I hope that my sons pick women who are independent like that too. I think you know there’s the independent woman on one side there’s the gold digger on the other side that you know. So, if you’re going to move up in the world you need that woman who’s going to help you move up and that’s not somebody who’s spending the money faster than you can make it. So, that’s what I hope for my that what did I model to my son I hope that they do feel that they are loved by their both of their parents but on the other side that they also realize that their parents have life purposes other than just being their parents. Okay, so, I think it’s important for male children to see their mother that has a life purpose other than just being a mother. I have heard from women about getting with guys who their mother just stayed home and I’m saying just be and I don’t mean to downgrade women who have made that choice seriously but a lot of times women who connect with me like that find it difficult because they feel undervalued by their meat because they’re made old saying my mom stayed home and did this and they almost feel like that their woman should just drop everything on their behalf. It’s almost like they feel that their mother spoiled them because they were there but we should spoil I used to spoil me too and drop everything on my behalf. And so, I just you know, my sons about my oldest sons about to get married. I think her head is screwed on tighter than his and I’m happy about this. Are you happy about that? So, Izzy we’re going to be waiting for your book and as soon as it does come out we’re going to put it in the show notes so people have the book but before that the website is whenlifegivesyouchildren.com where people can hear the music of a musician who could make a living as a musician and that’s the success in and of itself even though we don’t necessarily know your name but make the money as a musician but raised four sons who are who appear to be upstanding citizens now as a single parent. So, congratulations and thank you for being on the show.
Izzy Rehaume: Thank you. It was a pleasure.
Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit drveronica.com. See you all next week. Take care.
Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.
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