Doing our liberation work, for our kids and ourselves

How was your holiday?

I love Easter and Passover.  They are the celebration of miracles: the liberation of a people from bondage, the resurrection after tragedy and despair.  It’s no accident, I think, that it coincides with spring, the return of warm weather and flowers after the icy stillness of winter.

My mother’s line is Jewish; my step-mother’s family is Lutheran.  We were at the Lutheran church for their Easter service and Easter egg hunt on Sunday.

The woman leading the service shared in her sermon how she didn’t have any models of feminine leadership in the church, how she struggles to bring femininity into her work, unsure what that would even look like within the church’s patriarchal system.

This is the liberation work we’re all doing, shedding the constraints of the past, the false media messages that marketers manipulate us with, seeking truer models of what our lives could and should be like, so that we can be reborn into more powerful versions of ourselves.

I’m an optimist.  I believe that each generation will be a better and better model of liberation for their children.  We will continue to fight for human rights, civil rights, wage equity, LGBTQ rights, environmental equity and protections, and so on.

I won’t fight the battles my parents and grandparents fought; I’ll stand on their shoulders and reach for new heights.

As the constraints are removed, we’ll teach our children the awareness and empathy they’ll need to navigate their world, because it will be a new place.  There will be problems we don’t anticipate.  We’ll ride the bumps, learn, and adjust.

That awareness…that’s the tricky part.  I was aware as I chose clothes for church on Sunday that I was wayyyy overthinking it.  Yet, I felt that there were certain expectations for the season, for women, for mothers, for church, and from my family.  It felt complicated.

How many of those are pieces it would be better to shed?  How much of that do I want to pass on to my daughter?  That’s a deep discussion that, at three and three quarters, she’s not ready for.

Adolescents, however, are in the thick of it.  They are navigating all those expectations with a new awareness, a new attention to detail.  Each trend is carefully examined for its meaning and impact on their social standing.

While we can’t predict whether their peers will enthuse over a particular choice, we can provide history and context and perspective.  When the marketers push our kids in a direction that’s lucrative for their industry, we can be the counterbalance.

But only if you’re ready and willing to engage in these conversations.

It takes energy and thoughtfulness and a heck of a lot of discussion to examine our conditioning and rise above it.  To be our authentic selves and provide a better example for our kids.  To be ready to engage in those conversations with our adolescents.

Maybe you have everything you need in this realm, all the thoughtful discussion and support that would help.  If not, here are two suggestions:

  • The online option: You’re warmly invited to join our Facebook Parents Support Group, where we post and discuss all the things. Lean on the group with any question, and benefit from the discussions others are having.  Over the weekend, the discussion was lively on a post about fathers limiting daughters sexual activity.  Today the discussion is on tampons vs menstrual cups.
  • The live option: We’d so love to have you and your daughter join us at the Mother Daughter Empowerment Day-Treat.  One of the workshops is specifically on deconditioning from media messages and creating ongoing conversations to liberate ourselves and our kids.  Not only will we be doing this liberation work, we’ll have time to focus on mother-daughter communication, healthy boundaries, and practical self-defense.

I hope you’re feeling the energy of rebirth and renewal, the impulse to grow in new directions.  Rejoice in spring!

In support of you,
Anya

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