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Ever heard of mommy and me housing? Or a mommy and me program? What comes to mind when you think of a service like that? Do you think of people that you’ve known who were in mommy and me housing? Is it safe to have kids with their newly recovering mothers? What supports are present to help the new moms in recovery? We talk with Sarah Jo about her time in the mommy and me house and what to expect if you are going there. Listen in and share your thoughts with us.
How to find us and join the conversation:
Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/recoverysortof/message
Ever heard of mommy and me housing? Or a mommy and me program? What comes to mind when you think of a service like that? Do you think of people that you’ve known who were in mommy and me housing? Is it safe to have kids with their newly recovering mothers? What supports are present to help the new moms in recovery? We talk with Sarah Jo about her time in the mommy and me house and what to expect if you are going there. Listen in and share your thoughts with us.
How to find us and join the conversation:
recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature
welcome back it’s recovery sort of I’m Jason a guy who has never had to use mommy and me housing and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I’m Jenny I’m also a person in long-term recovery and I’m Sarah Joe I’m also in recovery welcome Sarah Joe hello so if you haven’t figured out yet we’re talking about mommy and me housing because we’re curious and uh Billy and I have never been we don’t know what goes on there we have no idea what troubles and struggles going in mommy and me housing and Jenny was super curious about the idea so we decided we’d have on Sarah Joe to talk about mommy and me housing so to start us off why don’t you give us like uh the the five to eight minute version of your story that includes mommy and me housing obviously um that lets us know like a little bit about you and why you’re here to talk about this topic okay um so I got into recovery in 2018 when um I got pregnant I got pregnant men addiction so of course it went down to CPS getting involved and everything and they wanted me to go into a facility they first sent me to Gaudenzia on Park Heights Baltimore which uh you know love Gaudenzia you know yeah cheers for them but uh you know it just wasn’t um it was my stomping ground so it wasn’t the best place for me um so I was sent down here to Woods Center um and then after that they asked me they’re like hey you know do you want to continue I had no idea about recovery at all I didn’t know about recovery houses anything like that um so I came out here to Solutions which was very uh strict but it was a kind of a step down from a facility um I still had to if I wasn’t working I’d be at the house at a certain time couldn’t come back in for a certain time um you know couldn’t have anybody over at the house anything like that and then I got pretty set and uh I got you know in tune with a couple of the girls in the neighborhood and built my network up and I got offered to do an interview at the mommy me house and um it was going to give me a chance to actually uh show my my step down of taking like the right steps you know what I mean with um trying to stay clean and um I actually got my son back six months earlier than I was supposed to uh in the mommy me house and uh it was awesome for me I loved it I I’m still friends with all the girls when I was first in there um unfortunately I had a couple relapses after that but I came back into the house um and then I relapsed out of there and went to Tennessee and that’s how I accumulated my almost three years and I just came back last October wow and I moved back into the mommy and me house okay um I wanted that accountability I was not comfortable coming back here I was super safe in Tennessee you know I didn’t know anybody besides clean people you know so I was very safe um so it was a nerve-wracking thing coming back here but luckily uh one of the girls I was actually in there with was still there and because they usually won’t take people right off the street and um I was using medical marijuana so I even had to express that to them and everything like you know and they weren’t accepting it at the time so I was like you know I’m gonna be coming in with a dirtier necessarily but um you know I really need you guys I don’t want to be you know just out there so went from there I just recently two months ago moved out I was there for about seven months um started volunteering with voices I’m now hired and I uh helped manage the recovery houses the men and women’s house so um so yeah I freaking love the mommy and me house they saved my life on three different occasions you know so um yeah wow that’s a pretty incredible story I think the first thing that popped up for me you made two statements at different times right one of them was that you got offered to do an interview to get in which made me think man these are like really seriously gate kept places and positions in this house and then you kind of added to it later and said that they don’t generally take people right off the street and it just I don’t know the way it hit me it was like well here we are again only offering services to people who earn the right to get them instead of just giving them to everybody who needs them right that is one super unfortunate thing with the money They’re democratically ran so uh we all pay our own bills like uh I mean we you know if we have internet and stuff like that that’s something we choose to do and we might have to up everybody’s rent or their intake to provide like we bought um a playset because we were so good doing good with our money but it can be a popularity contest sometimes you know which is super unfortunate because it runs off a voting system so in my case uh I I kind of knew a lot of the people in the neighborhood and I knew knew a lot of the girls in the house at that moment and they thought I would be a good fit because I was working you know what I mean I was keeping up my own bills and doing what I had to do but I do know while I was in there I tried to get everybody to understand everybody deserves a chance you know what I mean um it just does suck that it comes down to you know what somebody might have known someone in the past and then that plays a role because if you don’t get 80 vote coming into the house most of the time it’s majority rules that’s like if you want to hey can you know my mom come stay the night or something and you know whatever it would be a majority for one second so these are the mommy and me houses are from the Oxford House yes brand if you want to call it that and all the houses run that way right men’s women’s all of them they’re democratically ran they’re not like recovery housing so to speak and that there’s a set program or a set criteria or an administrator that lets you in it’s a democratic process of the people in the house yes and that’s part of that Oxford House yeah so I’m sorry to interrupt you you’re fine but I I totally agree it’s it’s like a transition house you know what I mean um I feel like the freedom that you get there isn’t necessarily healthy for someone early coming out of a facility but you know we’ve taken people right out of facilities plenty of times um but it is it’s like a transition house because you’ve got so much Freedom you know um you still have a curfew and a set amount of meetings to hit and everything but you know what I mean we get so busy it’s all done practically ran so you don’t have anybody over top of you know like with our houses with voices if you don’t make your meetings you know it goes a supervisor like you have to make your set meetings you know what I mean they’re kind of ain’t no really excuses for it you know which with the um Oxford House I just feel like you it’s it’s harder for somebody earlier on just because you’re still in a pretty foggy mindset you know and um once you get that Freedom where you don’t have to come out your room necessarily make your bed and you know do this or that so um yeah I had a little bit of resentment to Oxford houses for a long time because when I got clean this time I tried to get into an Oxford House and they wouldn’t take me in I didn’t get voted in and I was pissed maybe that’s one of the reasons I stayed clean is just to prove all them wrong yeah you know like but I didn’t get in because I didn’t come out of treatment yep and I went and did the house interview with all the guys and you know I had at that point I had 30 or 45 days I can’t remember how many and was trying to get into a recovery house and they didn’t take me so yeah it definitely is discouraging when you know I mean it’s up to a voting system but I stayed clean and I was fine and house ended up closing because everybody in there was drinking outside they were wrong
what ended up happening that house closed and they you know people in there were drinking and carrying I was like that’s why they didn’t take me because I was the [ ] clean guy they were all getting drunk yeah I’ve been around uh here a couple um people have odors and we’ve actually lost a couple people in houses and that’s like the ultimate traumatic event for a recovery house so do you know is that terminology like Mommy and Me house is that like an Oxford brand thing or is that just like a kind of nickname that’s stuck to that type of housing I think it’s just a nickname because it’s actually called Oxford House Unity North okay one right here in town yeah um and then there’s one it’s called West Park that’s a new work um but I think it’s just it’s just something that’s stuck because you you know you get to be mommy on your me yeah you get to take your hand with you but um I mean I think if if you just have if you’re I don’t want to say it in a way like you have to be at a certain mindset I think if you want it you’re gonna succeed anywhere you know what I mean it doesn’t really matter what kind of situation you’re in um but it’s just very discouraging for people early on because you’re already feeling super judged and then you get to go into a house and you’re being judged on whether or not you’re going to get in it’s not just because oh because you’re an addict you’re gonna get in you know it’s kind of makes it feel like it’s popularity contest well and and there’s the more overt part you mentioned of like oh this person did something wrong to me five years ago in active views right but there’s also like the more covert things of as a guy who’s just had a home group for a long time in my life and sponsored guys for a long time in my life like I realize I am a shitty predictor of if people are going to stay clean or recover oh yeah like I am terrible at it the people who are the All-Stars in that first six months and did eight steps already like they don’t come back and then there is the guy who looks like he’s you know on the verge of coppin on any moment and he stays clean for 10 years it’s like yeah I don’t and I feel like that unfortunately is gonna go into who gets let in right everybody’s gonna talk to me like oh this girl looks like she’s doing well and but we don’t know that and we’re keeping the people mommy and me services are providing a service that keeps families together that keeps connection that lesson shame that increases chances of recovery right but we’re only going to offer that to people who look like they’re ready right you know what I mean like who gets to decide that and the people were not given the services to need them just as much if not more yes you know what I mean sorry I’m just no I definitely agree I definitely agree um we had several conversations like we have an Outreach worker that will come to your house when you have your meetings and everything um and it’s like a person that’s they’re assigned to a certain amount of houses like in a certain area so Corey was ours and um amazing dude awesome guy but um you know he would we would even bring it to him like come on dude you know we got two other girls in the house that are like not pushing on this person just because of something so stupid you know it’s not fair and sometimes we can get it overruled you know and then other times Oxford House is just very big on um I’m not allowing us to mess up on our own do you know what I mean so um they give you that rope to hang yourself in a way you know because they want you to like like dude this is supposed to be your transition into back into the real world like if you can’t pay your bills here then what are you going to do you know what I mean so um you know it’s it’s just a step down like my experience all together um I think that it definitely should be a whole process of like a facility step day if you’ve never been in recall you know what I mean if you have no idea take the steps to like go into a sober living you know what I mean still have that structure and everything and then make sure you’re comfortable you know um stop trying to uh you know get what you want right now because that’s what we all do you know um so you know it’s it’s good and bad how long do uh people usually stay you said you were there for seven months how long is that normal is that average oh uh well the one girl she’s been there three years now it is that frowned upon or encouraged or how’s that no um actually my old um Oxford House uh he was there eight years and he still lived in a house and he worked for Oxford and everything like that actually I think a year ago he just recently moved out yeah I’ve known people that have been in some of those houses for years yeah I mean it’s and if it works for him great you know they say stable do you know if the mommy and me houses do they take single women with kids or do you have to come in with kids or will they also take people that are trying to get their kids or all of those what about people that are trying to have kids so they’re all right all of that um we actually you can only actually have a certain amount of kids in the mommy and me houses just because fire code probably yeah probably fire code of number of people safety and all that so um you can’t have any kids above the age of eight um which is a real hard you know what I mean because we’ve had some many women that have like 13 year olds and you know I mean nine-year-olds and they’re like a year over and we can’t I think it’s because of nothing that I’ve ever experienced being in them but uh just from what I’ve been told um they’ve had you know different occasions which I’m sorry I’m about to take this very dark but like a kid has been touched you know what I mean because you’re in there with other people and um way down like they talk too much yeah I gotta tell people what the [ ] going on there I’ll tell everyone our secrets nobody’s gonna believe them after they’re older you know they know it doesn’t make any sense it makes no sense at all that you know some of the rules but and that’s just in the Oxford House version though right because I believe the other one in this area they do take oh yeah yeah yeah you can um I actually don’t know if there’s a cut off I don’t think it’s at eight though if it is for Brentwood I think it’s way older um because honestly I think the cut off would be like maybe like 14 15 because they’re technically still a child they’re not even you know so it’s been uh argument you know here and there with us but I know while I was in there we had three Toddlers and two infants and that was like our we were topped off you know what I mean because um you can have a mom with two kids or several moms with just one kid and then as far as for infants I think they only allow two at a time but it I’ve never really been there where it’s been like a um a really messed up situation for somebody that we really couldn’t let them in um I’ve just heard of it you know what I mean that that has been like a thing that has pushed somebody not pushed somebody out but kept somebody from coming in is because of like the how many kids they have or the age range they are and everything yeah so I was noticing you know just trying to read through and get a little educated before this episode like there’s a I guess what we’re talking about in this Oxford House type mommy and me program is a little different from some of the more structured mommy and me programs that were saying you know they had rules around it’s usually for a year 18 months tops it’s only about getting yourself together and they had like programs coming in to teach them cooking healthy and all this kind of stuff and that would be yeah so that would be something slightly a little different both having their usefulness for sure the thing that struck me about like uh do the kids sleep in the same room as the moms yes okay so it’s always shared rooms yes I wonder if that has something to do with the the eight-year-old thing too because I believe there’s some kind of at least in Maryland some law about a kid needing their own room by a certain age or something or like um yeah boys and girls have to be separate even in a certain age that followed well right now on the rule books and I mean really you know what I mean like one other girl she had a bunk bed in um her room I mean we’re coming straight off the street sometimes you know I mean we don’t have anything so yeah of course like my daughter and my son’s gonna sleep in here with me you know but um I don’t know I think they might throw some stuff at you just because that’s just what the real world is gonna do you know what I mean so what can I ask what kind of supports like for you and your journey through there like what was it about the house that was so beneficial to you like was it just that you could have your kid or do they provide like uh yeah daycare or child services or any of that stuff like no it’s just um Oxford’s a huge National thing and um I actually you can become like we have chapter now so I was a chair member while I was there and I actually became state chair um with state Secretary so I just like recorded the minutes you know every month but I went to uh convention my first conv convention was in Oxford one um so they do all kinds of stuff like that and they they really help each other like we have a meeting every month uh for chapter and we were really struggling at a time with our bills and um other houses if they’re pretty you know set if they’re able to donate money that you know they’ll help other houses get back on their feet because they were actually going gonna shut the Elkton house down when I first got back here because it was over like 20 grand in the hole but that’s just because of background when people move in not paying off their bound you know what I mean so um but it is unfortunate falls on the group of people that’s in there now yeah um again Oxford the people in there pay the rent it’s not paid by the organization it’s paid by the people in there and they’re the ones responsible for paying actually literally paying the bills for that place whether it’s utilities rent all that stuff and a lot of places won’t fund Oxford houses believe it or not yeah it’s hard to get funding for them um and I think that’s because of the uh stigma that it’s kind of frat house type thing you know but I I think that’s with anywhere it all depends on um you’re the group of people you got you know a quick question so does Insurance help with any recovery housing mommy me house no okay is that only if it’s considered like I and I don’t remember the exact words but if it’s considered like recovery housing like there’s a certain level I can’t remember what the numbers it’s got numbers and [ __ ] but it’s got to be a certain level of recovery provided before insurance will cover it so like when we get into like there’s recovery housing and then halfway housing and then three-quarter housing and these are all different levels of services that they provide so like the one that’s in this area Brantwood they provide a lot more like counseling and in-house meetings and structured you know recovery I don’t know what you call it benchmarks that you have to hit if you want to stay there and so they’re considered more of a recovery housing whereas somewhere like Oxford like you can live there and you don’t have to go to any meetings do anything whatever like you have no requirements to do anything recovery related whatsoever in mommy me housing like you still had to like I’m going to these meetings like that’s not you do you do um
if everybody in the house goes we don’t care if you go to meetings then you don’t have to go to meetings so locally what you described this one our local one is Brentwood that’s more like that sounds to me like more like an in-house rehab where your kid can live with you sort of yeah you still you still have access to outside stuff so you can still go to outside meetings you can go to a job so it’s not like an Inpatient Rehab where you’re say stuck there but where you’re inpatient but they put 24 hours supervision too yeah they have the 24-hour supervision they have counseling and stuff provided there’s and there are certain levels of things you have to participate in in order to be active in that program yeah so um so my my only experience with Mommy me housing was I actually spoke at that house I was invited to speak about being a mom in recovery and they wanted me to talk about um Buddhist recovery practices and I still like even after that little experience I had mommy and me stuff was still a mystery like I have a very romantic view I’m like oh it’s like a all-female commune with your kids this sounds wonderful and but then I hear things like like no Jenny that’s wrong 24 7. yeah it and it does um it just really I know I keep saying it just all depends on the group that you have you know what I mean because you got some people that just aren’t you know the best to me who the [ ] around you know and it’s like you can try your hardest to be this person’s friend or just at least to level with them and it’s just not there you know what I mean so that makes it uncomfortable but um yeah it just depends on the the group you got I had a pretty good group in there with me and um you know we’d love to go to meetings and everything we held everybody very accountable we did we do our own Med counts you know what I mean it’s that’s what I mean about like the freedom in there you know what I mean we have our own Med counts and um we do our own random yearns um so it’s just it’s a scary thing you know what I mean because you’re almost you wanna know that you got strong people in that house especially if you know somebody that’s you know a little weaker in their recovery going in there you know I wouldn’t I wouldn’t personally suggest them going there not that I don’t think that Oxford is amazing you know it saved my life but I do think you gotta be at a certain mind frame and everything to really succeed in there you know what I mean because it’s hard did not fall into everybody else’s stuff you know so what kind of things did you get offered in there or were you able to access being in there obviously keeping your child with you is one yeah what kind of ways had it has it impacted your recovery that you wouldn’t have had access to or the ability to do if there wasn’t mommy and me houses that existed I don’t think I think I’d be where I’m at right now I wouldn’t have any idea who voices was you know what I mean I wouldn’t have any idea where Cecil County was and I actually wanted to come back here from Tennessee you know what I mean I didn’t want to go back to Baltimore at all um not that I don’t love Baltimore that’s my hometown but um what it gave to me was just um I think it kind of worked for me to be in that structure because I’ll be honest you know what I mean like getting in trouble growing up you did what you had to do with probation everything yeah I showed up I was like you’re a star player you know what I mean I was like the one you wanted to be my PO you know what I mean did what I had to do and then just went you know once everything was all said and done this gave me the tools that I needed to see life in a different way I guess you can say because um I mean I’ll be honest I think even up until last like the year before last I was still very foggy you know I was still very um entitled very entitled I was very uh oh well you don’t what Billy you didn’t see what I’ve been doing for these past 30 days dude tell me I’m gonna be clean six years from now you know what I mean so um I think it humbled me I think the most thing I got out of it was it humbled me because I was actually scared to go to the mommy and me from Solutions because it was so relaxed I was scared um just because I know me you know what I mean you give me over you know I mean give me a couple inches I’m gonna we gotta talk about this analogy because I use this on an episode not that long ago talking about giving my kids enough rope to hang themselves with and it’s just like it’s a expecting people to fail analogy we need to I don’t know I gave him enough rope to tie a nice pretty knot with or something but you know I mean like we should expect people to do well I don’t know why we always expect them to hang themselves well you know I also too you don’t want to Pat their pamper you know oh they don’t want to Pat their paper you know what I mean like it’s like you don’t want to baby them too much because really yeah well especially with like the houses right now that I’m working in like I can be that that buffer for the girls but then I still have to like turn around be like bro did you let me repeat what I what you just said to me let me repeat it back to you because I really don’t think you’re gonna you know hold on to it tightly this time but um yeah I I don’t know I just think I got a lot from it I think I I think it it was a whole bunch of different things that have gotten me to where I am today and but I do think that Oxford is a huge part of that just because that’s where most of my recovery and clean time accumulated at you know what I mean why can’t see being in there too giving you that little bit of uh self-worth and self-respect because because you are taking care of yourself for the most part I mean you’re getting help from like a group but it’s a group of people that are all doing it themselves it’s not like a charity or an outside organization that’s coming in and like paying your rent or paying your bills or watching your kids like you still got to manage all that [ ] on your own you just have a little bit of support from a group of people in recovery that hopefully are all have the same goals have the same values that are working kind of towards the same things and so that support can give us that connection in that Community oh yeah that we lack when we’re out there you will not that we don’t get that with using people but that’s why we get it when we’re using is in the using Community yeah and we get clean we need those same connections and I imagine having your kids there is going to help with that like generational trauma you know like we all grow up professional generational trauma yeah you know little kids are going to still be able to have that relation with their parents hopefully yeah yeah I think they can offer a whole lot um I think some people also work better you know getting pampered you know I don’t I kind of need um like as much as I’ll fight it I need that like uh that tough love you know what I mean and I almost need to um feel like I am right and I’m going to prove you wrong and still follow my face United me because that humbles me because then it’s like okay you know what I mean that’s why I got into a place now where I’m like let’s not go off the first thoughts there you know what I mean because it’s probably not the best one you know but um yeah I mean I I think I’ve gained every kind of support it’s just um I think I gained every time kind of support just in my journey in general um but you know I just think it’s evolved now I guess um and this is an informative episode for me because when I picture mommy and me I was picturing much more like structured programs and much I guess more services offered like to me if you’re a new mother in recovery or a mother in recovery that’s trying to like get an education or get back into the workforce you’re gonna have to provide some kind of child care during the day or services around that and you know there’s going to be parenting classes because this is obviously a population that you know it probably did not get the best parenting so let’s try to like retrain them to do something different and I’m I guess here in this version of the Oxford House that’s mommy and me it’s it’s great that we have these people together and connected and there’s surely some support and like I’m not going through this alone and I can pick up some of these good behaviors from other moms but I I’m still I guess I’m like man I’m surprised there’s not more offered because like I I would picture those would be really really useful things for people in that situation yeah well I know in a group too in the in the Oxford houses I mean if you’re building connections with people in the house it’ll give you a peer that you might trust to watch your kids or you can watch their kids and it does create some of that but it’s not that service isn’t provided by the organization or by the house no you’re definitely obligated to handle all of your personal affairs you know on your own and if you got to make it to drug court and do a urine every morning you better get up and go you know what I mean um nobody’s going to come wake you up or it’s not like Ashley’s they don’t put a schedule underneath your door every morning you know do you guys share like uh you know like I’ll watch your kid and you watch my kid does that oh oh God yeah okay just yes
sorry girls I love you and your kids but um yeah no um as I say I had an awesome group um we all helped each other you know what I mean um and we even though a lot of us didn’t necessarily Vibe we were all able to like coexist together and pretty much have love for the next addict do you know what I mean um and just have respect for their journey and what they’re there for um hear me out guys I have an idea I think mommy and me housing the reality TV show oh God yeah oh it would definitely and then maybe it would get more popular and then more Mommy me housing would become available since it’s like it’s this great hit show on Netflix we need to put like big brother with the cameras up in all the rooms yeah I don’t know if it’d be there much longer after that but uh yeah what’s up what’s Meal Time like do you guys all eat together is share cooking or so so we we do like um like I said with the group that I was in there with um I’d make dinner a big huge dinner one night and just offer it up to anybody the other girls would do that um you know of course if I’m sitting there cloaking and your kid runs down I’m not going to tell them no you’re gonna have a hot dog go get your mom you know what I mean so uh yeah you know I I loved it I I really loved it I loved the um the bonds we built uh I love it I’m sorry I’m picturing Jenny’s version and it’s like all these all these moms and kids dressed in all white right like these Linens hanging off of them gracefully as they glow and they have Thanksgiving dinner every night together vegetables they wake up to like Buddhist Meditation every morning and wellness more so like our uh our oven our doors
swinging from the ceiling yeah they would call me um oh God what would my roommate call me she’d do this weird country accent because I was like the oh my God your guys are gonna die if you don’t stop doing that like we had balloons one time it was like 16 freaking balloons right and they’re running around it’s like three different Toddlers and all I’m sitting here thinking I’m like I’m in here cooking it’s gonna tangle around their neck they’re gonna be choking I’m not gonna know it and then you know and so Jackie would sit there and she’d do this contract she’s like y’all better stop you’re gonna die you are gonna die she would just run around the house behind me every time every time I was like being extra but um you know it’s there was also times too where you know I just wanted to you know take take the couple of those moms and just so you mentioned something you know it was kind of a passing comment but I picked up one you said like guilt as being a thing that helped with having your kid there so what are kind of are some of the challenges as a mom trying to get into recovery and then obviously if you went inpatient you were separated from your kid if you went to any sort of traditionally if you went to sort of any halfway house or recovery housing you’re separated from your kid so what are some of those like you mentioned guilt but what are some other things um I mean I think it’s just like when I would guilt shame you know because here you’re supposed to be mom you know so even though you got all this going on why is it that I’d rather go get high I can I can be Mom after you know I just have to go get high real quick like it that I think got to me the most that it was like why isn’t he my number one thought you know and um I think now it’s not that I loved many less it’s just this disease is so freaking strong that it’s totally blocks out you you know you don’t you you are not you I try to tell people now like um one of the things is I had to stop uh not taking ownership of things that I did in addiction but um not letting it Define me you know because um my mom whole life got switched you know flipped upside down because of course she didn’t hesitate to step up and um she actually my son is still living with her full-time now because he goes to school and then comes with me on the weekends um but I still have a little bit of that guilt now with being pregnant you know uh like I was explaining to you like the excitement was kind of different but you know in that same excitement I still had that same thought like you know I should have had that with him you you know what I mean so you just have that I just think it’s um everybody works through their guilt differently or just whatever they’re feeling because I mean honestly you get some people in there that uh they’re facing time and really that’s all that matters to them and you know no judgment whatsoever but like um you know so you can’t help yourself but to kind of Step Up in different ways because you can see yourself and how you were at that moment it’s just a sucky feeling you know if you if the idea of being a mom you know you just created this life in your body and your mom this is supposed to be your one and all you know your total love and uh and I didn’t think I was capable I guess I can put it like that I didn’t think I would be capable of being a mom you know what I mean uh I felt like I was just too far gone I felt like I was way too selfish to even care about this other life when I can’t even worry about whether they ate or not because I have to go get high real quick you know what I mean you know nowadays that that helped like I said I think got me to where I am now to where like I can help other women because actually that was a huge thing I would not admit that I used while pregnant that was like a huge thing I would not talk about because uh I mean I would fabricate my story because I could not bring myself to say it um I couldn’t bring myself to say that I begged God to literally take him from me while he was in there just because I’m like please don’t let me [ __ ] this kid up you know what I mean and but I think that is all motions that I had to to go through and if I was willing if I wanted to be where I’m at right now you know what I mean I had to I had to find a way to work through that but I think Oxford and the the women I think all the women in general that you meet in recovery all their stories help you yeah because I admire somebody’s vulnerability so much like it gives me chills think about when somebody shares um I’m like man you’ve got some balls because I really don’t want to you know what I mean I I’ve never wanted to share my story and I I think that’s just because there’s still certain things that like I don’t necessarily want to bring up you know what I mean because you shove so much stuff down but like the the main big thing you know besides all the little stuff you you work on except in that I am a good mom in my own way has broken my guilt up it’s not so massive you know what I mean so um yeah foreign has been brought to you in part by Voices of Hope Inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the Dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at
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thank you well when we talk about guilt and shame of of moms who aren’t raising their kids or don’t have the ability at that point in time to have their kids with them you know the question rose up before the show like why are there not more Daddy and me houses or why do they not exist and part of this guilt and shame is is where we can go to look for the answers to that men aren’t raised expected to take care of their kids right we’re still early into the transition into like oh men and women should share work at home now that they both work full-time jobs right it shouldn’t all be on the woman and that would explain it like men aren’t having that overwhelming guilt and shame most of the time I’m not saying it doesn’t exist for some I’m not saying some level of it doesn’t exist for some but it’s a completely different cultural expectation on the women in our society which would explain a lot why there’s so many more Mommy and Me situations needed than Daddy and me situations I’m sure it’s out there and needed somewhere but it’s not really the the thing that it is for women I guess yeah no I definitely agree with that it’s just not um you know just because of dealing with different people you know it’s it was up to the mom or the dad like whoever steps up because if not your kids will go on foster care or you know what I mean um but yeah I do think that um I mean I know a lot of guys in the Oxford House that have literally have tried to advocate for this daddy and me because it’s needed so bad you know I mean we even have somebody that works here that um he’s an awesome dad he works in the uh he lives in the Oxford House he’s got like three little girls awesome you know what I mean it was just it would just be nice to to have that because it would stop that like because Maryland’s a mommy State you know what I mean they they definitely want the mom to step up and do what they gotta do but you can’t always do it you know what I mean if a huge thing for me and my recovery was figuring out me you know I’m trying to get back to me before drugs and all that um and man I’m still still working on it you know what I mean but um well that is a thing I can think would be a struggle like I didn’t have any kids when I got clean but it was like the mentality coming in was like all right just focus on yourself take care of you do what you got to do to stay clean like I don’t even have to Fathom trying to take care of some other complete human being right you know what I mean like they were telling you to have a plant first right right get a plant then adult you know don’t have no relationship for a whole year first right right and so I guess as a mom coming into recovery and this is just out of ignorance like is it a good idea for these moms to have their kids in the first 30 60 days like I mean it’s probably maybe good for the kid but it seems like that might be tough like yeah and I think that’s just probably something that they struggle with I can’t imagine being a CPS worker I really can’t I mean I freaking hated mine at first you know and I love her to death now but um yeah actually she just called to check up on me the other day but um I hope she listens to the show yeah um but I can’t imagine yeah I couldn’t either because you do you you don’t want to strip the kids from parents whatsoever right but then you gotta like make this decision like what is the best [ ] up scenario to put them in you know because it’s almost like okay keep them with mom in a treatment facility that that could be traumatizing or you know go send them with Aunt Sue that you know right it’s like trying to pick the best out of three bad options yeah you know so yeah I think that is that’s definitely something hard you know and something that they should try to work on but I mean how I don’t even know if there is a right way to go about it or easier way to ease in back into that it’s kind of that’s how I feel like the Oxford House does it’s kind of just like hit the ground running or trip up and fall right do you think the states that are going to make abortion illegal are also the states with the fewest mommy and me houses just just curious the ones that may need it the most in five years oh yeah sorry probably yeah so why why is there not enough of this already right why do we not have if we’re saying that this is all about connection and coping and generational trauma and all these things that we’re starting to think you know contribute to the substance use Aces like why is there not more funding for training mothers as they get into recovery or mommy and me housing or places and ways to make this like when Billy says should they be alone with their kids the first 30 or 60 days supervised [ ] maybe probably not when you first asked me when we first started I had no idea I was going to answer this question because uh I don’t know why you know but honestly night you said that Billy it makes sense because it’s almost like um you have an abundance of men recovery houses because it comes down to it they they come with less baggage in a sense right um you can have some more you know they got their things going so with the mommy maybe because it’s not as successful as they would want it to be so they keep it to a bare minimum you know what I mean that it is something needed but we don’t want to do an abundance of them because then we’re just going to five [ ] up houses instead of just one you know what I mean and trying to be hard enough yeah it’s hard enough to do a regular men’s house successfully let alone add all these other challenges yes yes um because how we were talking about uh you know flushing Wipes we got kids that flush our dinosaurs down there you know what I mean and then we’re having to kick out 400 to pump the the pipes out you know what I mean um but yeah so I don’t I don’t know I really don’t know but that now that you said that that kind of makes sense you know what I mean well the system in general likes easy simple fixes to really complicated and messy problems oh yeah so anytime you go to a politician or somebody in you know a state organization that’s social services or whatever like they don’t want to hear that it’s complicated and hard and you need a lot of resources and a lot of money like that’s the last time that any of them want to hear yeah yeah they want to know like how do we fix this now for less money wait why don’t we have the mommy and me pill yes yeah yeah right so this makes you think you’re in the same house with your kid or something and you all the guilt’s gone just puts a whole little hallucination as you mentioned like in this County we have that one mommy and me house and then there’s the other uh Brantwood I don’t know what their official name is is it just Brentwood Family Services yeah and they do like say a more sort of outpatient structured recovery program and they’re allowed to have kids in there I’m not sure if they offer Child Services when people go to work or not I don’t know what what specific Services they offer besides I don’t think they daycare necessarily or something like refer you to a place or something but I know they’ve been working a lot on doing more impatient or not impatient in-house like recovery meetings bringing outside meetings in yeah because it’s harder for the ladies to get their kids and get out to meetings so they’re trying to have more meetings come in like things like that that are going to help with that but imagine that like see that was one thing like that did not work for me was a in-house meetings well no no no no no no no just being confined you know what I mean like that even though they’re in a facility that’s going to be hard to not be able to just come and go as you please you know what I mean yeah or if you do have a job you know they have to set you up with your ride to make sure you get there and then they they pick you up and you know you don’t really even just the walk to the store to go get a Yoo-hoo or something you know that’s freeing at times you know so um I don’t I don’t know if I would have thrived as much if I was in a more structured environment but then again I may have uh it may have helped me in my CBS case because that’s one thing they really want to know like if safety plans and stuff are in place um you have to have supervision um and actually Kaylee uh my late friend that just passed um she became she went wrote to me that that that’s what I mean about like the kind of relationships I built in these houses um this girl rode all the way out to Towson with me to sit in on a meeting with false parents and you know stuff like that to see if she would be able to be there at the house so I could have Keegan to visit and um she did that for me and then uh you know she even took me out there the day that we had the decision on whether or not I was going to get them back full time or not and cancel the safety plan and she went and took me to to do that you know what I mean um I hold on to things like that just because man for somebody that’s in the same boat as me to care about me when I can’t really care about myself that just you know I think that’s just one of the best things about Mommy me houses is the relationships you can build yeah and Jenny going back to your question about insurance and uh it’s you know ability to cover any of these Services part of the reason there’s not more of these services or there’s a shortage of places like Brentwood is because insurance doesn’t ever want to cover anything where there’s like an actual medical intervention to help people you know it’s we’re the only cover for a certain amount of time right or our model of insurance I should say you know we don’t live in a a model of like Medical Health where it’s like you need this treatment go get it it’s like you need this treatment which insurance service do you have how much is being paid for it how much cost gets covered for that do you have enough to fund the rest like so that’s a another reason because it’s it’s not going to be available it would be interesting so with the rent in the mommy and me house like is it divided up just amongst the adults or do you have to pay more if you have more kids so a mommy and me room uh when I was just there you paid 160 a week um for a single you paid one a 130. um but like I said it fluctuates so if you’re doing really good with your bills you have the whole house is the house can hold eight women um with kids so actually nine because one of the rooms is a double so it can hold nine women maybe that’s another reason they don’t have enough there’s not a lot of houses that could hold up many people yeah you know what I mean that’s what I was just thinking about but um you have to pay more just because they consider that you uh more stuff right you use more water you don’t consume [ ] yes so they do up it fluctuates you know what I mean and that just goes back to the democratically ran you know what I mean if you’re short on your bills because you only got five people in the house well guess what you know what I mean you gotta up your right um so it can be discouraging but then at the same time I just think it’s a real good way to put you in reality because oh they’re about to up my Run 100 bucks come January so I’m used to it because it has happened to me yeah so um yeah it it definitely does change between whether or not you’re single and they do accept single women in there um I think they only have about three mommy and me rooms right now and that’s just because of the size of the room and whether or not you got the space and everything like that but um but yeah a lot of them do run off of single women for the most part you know what I mean have you have you ever been there when somebody’s gotten kicked out for not paying rent or behavior yeah I had to be the one to put people out they haven’t and like I want to know what that’s like you have to kick out somebody with a kid so you just take them out you pick the kid up and just set them out in the rain then the mom gets the hint and just goes out this isn’t allowed here anymore so we’re shutting this yeah the light just going away um so that is one thing uh if you get caught using or um let’s say you were on a behavioral content or you know you just did something extremely you know um yeah you got 15 minutes to pack a bag and you gotta go um no excuses so if you use and this kind of goes if you’re willing to go into treatment and go by what the girls at the house want you to do they may hold the room for you you know what I mean um but that also goes back to whether or not you’re meeting the expectations of the house you know what I mean have you are you doing stuff for yourself like is it worth bringing you back are you just going to come you know do you it’s almost like being a roommate anywhere like if you’re in a house with a couple of guys and you get along well yeah they’re probably a little more forgiving than if you’re the [ ] that oh yeah and I was definitely the [ ] for a little while Survivor mommy and me Edition I’m back from Tennessee and uh Rachel said the one girl was in there but the rest of them were from Ocean City they had no idea about a mommy and me house um I supposedly supposedly the house was just flipped right before I came back so these girls had no idea the rules the policy procedures you know anything they were just told to pay rent don’t get high you know um so when I got in there I’m like what you know pure come in late for curfew and it might sound like little things but like if you’re 10 minutes late for curfew that you know what time it is you know what I mean you’re just that’s irresponsible like stop don’t be a dick about it come home at 11. don’t don’t tell me oh I stopped and got me a Red Bull well guess what you should have waited till seven in the morning when you left for work because you’re now you’re late you know so I was the dick for a little while because um the house did so well for me when I was first in there I was like uh-uh you know what I mean come on guys like we got to get it together or they’re gonna take this house and we’re all homeless but nowhere for our kids nowhere for any other mommy and me is the calm you know it’s like so it helped though you know what I mean and actually it it’s a blessing that I was in a place to even be that person you know what I mean because I was definitely a person I don’t care you know gotta be late I don’t know you want to stay out I don’t care you know but um when you probably see that managing the houses now like it’s it’s got to be a hard line trying to figure out all right how how much because you know people that are early in recovery are going to make mistakes like that’s just a given we all do none of us is perfect but how much is okay and how much is taken advantage and too much and how do you work all that [ ] out like that’s just really hard scenario to scenario you know what I mean because uh like we would say what they have what we do for what we gotta do for another right um but then we’re also very person-centered so um we had a gentleman that couldn’t get a job because of his background you know so he was able to take like an overnight um shift working and that’s not something you’re allowed to do so mommy and me recovery housing program never been thought of before you and Jenny have been talking you’re realizing there’s a lot of moms coming into recovery there’s a need for some type of program you just invented it you come on this show to tell us about it what does it look like what is perfect what is the ideal situation for new moms to come in and have some sort of program available to them white linen yes morning meditations yeah that breakfast full of food like you see in the movies where they don’t eat it they just grab a slice of toast and run out the door but it’s a full stocked fruit breakfast no It’s gotta be that melon cheese [ ] that nobody eats I think it would I think what we all talked about everything would work like Services provided I think that would be a huge success for the mommy and me’s because I buzzword wrap around Services yeah yeah seriously because it it would help because like I said you go in there and you’re you’re expected to do what you have to do because you already know what you got to do right um where like with the houses that I’m in now if like I could take what we do like we have a whole checklist of like do you have your ID do you have insurance you know what I mean are you planning on getting a vehicle do you have a resume you know it’s different stuff like that like we’re literally there to like help and we have so many resources to like Point them in the right direction to get their first resume written up you know what I mean um one of the girls in the house she came from RCA she’s now working there you know so um I think that would be an awesome thing and also too I think some type of supervision like they don’t have a house manager for Oxford houses it’s ever I think a house manager would work in a way um not necessarily to like even maybe somebody paid through Oxford to just be like a monitor in the house you know just to like show them weirdly enough that came up in a different conversation apparently in Maryland so in other and you may know this better than me but in other states like in Delaware the state will pay for a coordinator I guess it’s not really a house manager specifically but like a coordinator that the state pays to go around and monitor the houses but Maryland does not cover that or does not pay for that so what’s happening in this area is that the coordinator who manages I guess the Delaware houses comes down and manages the houses in this area really yeah that’s what I was that’s what someone explained to me that used to work there huh so I was like oh I had an Outreach worker yeah are they from Delaware or were they from Maryland um yes it’s crazy because we have really high taxes here but Delaware is a pretty more people-centered person you did mention somebody named Corey that would check on the houses what is that position that was my question was he from Maryland or Delaware he’s in Delaware he actually lives in a house um what’s the Delaware person coming down to manage the Maryland ship because we won’t pay for that coordinator and uh you know there’s only three Oxford House in Maryland no no no I’m sorry I’m lying there is it’s like out like uh like Cumberland I think like up it’s out you know what I mean it’s really far out that might be why because they don’t want to pay for that Outreach worker and that makes it it has to fall into some other jurisdiction yeah because we just happened to be able to that’s why we didn’t even have a chapter at first like they just started the chapter because Delaware’s already had a chapter for Oxford yeah and that’s what it was the Outreach workers Delaware and I don’t know which part of Delaware the state funds that Outreach worker we don’t do that so we don’t have an Outreach worker it’s the Delaware Outreach worker that has to oversee and we’ve actually lost one of the men’s houses this past year so it’s just the one mommy and me and then the one men’s house right on uh North Street yeah well I don’t think my uh my assumption about mommy my house is was too off it seems it seems like ideal looking cheery even though you guys fight and uh like because in the end you have a very glowing like memory and gratitude for mommy me housing even though like at the ground level it may not look so may not be so white lineny with fresh fruit you know all the time real house moms of recovery yeah yeah good Lord that man all right listen you’d probably make good money off of that because there’d be a lot of views it would be uh definitely a 2022 Jerry Springer all right tell us tell us the craziest story of Mommy and me that you have craziest story I like guys found in closets or oh well
that’s a lot like if I found a kid in my daughter’s closet I’d be pretty freaked out but I guess there that’s pretty normal oh you know I mean they’re not virgins Billy
I have heard of it you know a couple people walking their kids in closets but nothing like that ever happened while I was there um I I don’t even know oh probably the craziest thing that happened was one of the girls sorry I know Anna you know anonymity is fully you know still here um she was having her sugar daddy come and meet her at very late I just happened to be up checking on another girl who was late and um I go to knuckle in her door and her son just chilling in the room weird actually I walk into the kitchen and everything no she’s out on the side and freely told me like it was nothing I’m like oh so yeah that’s probably just the craziest thing I dealt with just because I don’t deal with stupid very well you know what I mean and I thought if anything lie to me don’t tell me you’re literally out there you know doing what you gotta do with your sugar daddy you know naming him that I mean how many what percentage of my bills is he funding yeah that’s why I was a little pissed off because I’m like why are you so back on rent if you got you know all right you’re gonna have to reevaluate that uh contract you got with him it’s not doing this part yeah yeah but yeah not necessarily too crazy right well Sarah Joe we we appreciate you spending time with us this Sunday morning it’s been wonderful we’ve learned a lot about mommy and me that I I mean I had no clue I had my theories that it was all well structured and you know yeah implemented and apparently yeah every day exactly just anyway yeah before I go any grocer with any of that uh thank you again for coming on and everybody out there you know support Mommy and Me in your area if you think it’s in you know a needed thing if you think it’s a useful tool um and maybe we can get some actual like standards of service around this kind of level of care so stay safe out there foreign
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