How to Be a Feminist

I saw this on a friend’s feed today and had to grab it. So simple, but so well said. Feminism supports women, of course, but it also supports men. Feminism fights against the idea that men shouldn’t display traditionally “feminine” characteristics, like tears, sensitivity, etc.

eliza-lou-riley:

Boys, protect girls. Call people out when they make offensive jokes. Stand up to those who treat girls like objects. Walk a girl home if she feels unsafe. Listen to them and be considerate of their feelings. Destroy that myth that women are inferior.

 

Girls, protect boys. Call people out when they make fun of a boy for showing emotion. Stand up to those who tell boys to ‘man up.’ Support boys who enjoy feminine things. Destroy the myth that men can’t be victims and that women can’t be predators.

Boys, protect boys. Protect your bros from violent relationships. Comfort your bros when they need somebody. Stand up for your bros who are ridiculed for not wanting/liking sex. Destroy the myth that two men can’t be close without it being “gay.”

Girls, protect girls. Defend sisters who enjoy having sex. Stand up to those who define sisters for what they wear. Don’t judge your sister’s worth from how many boyfriend’s she’s had. Destroy the myth that girls have to constantly compete with each other.

Praise and Narcissistic Kids

Maybe you can give a kid too much praise, but you can’t give a kid too much love.

The study about praise from parents creating narcissistic kids out of the University of Ohio,  discussed in this NPR article, is making the rounds right now, and some of the ways it’s being interpreted are making me cringe.

It sounds like this study is another in a series of “kids today have too much self-esteem, we need to knock them down a peg or two” findings, but it’s not. Here are some things for parents to consider:

1. First off, what’s narcissism?

Narcissism looks like an extreme sense of self-worth. Narcissists feel entitled to special treatment, tend to only see their own point of view and lack empathy. They also absolutely reject criticism of any kind.

The thing is, narcissism in adults is usually a defense against an internal self-loathing. Narcissists have what we call primary narcissistic wounding, which we think arises from a lack of empathy from early caregivers. Infants and toddlers need to have their basic needs met as well as love, empathy and affection from caregivers. When these are withheld, the basic sense of security that we are OK and the world is basically safe doesn’t develop.

It’s like they have this black hole inside that nothing can fill. It’s too scary to acknowledge it, so they build these defenses of narcissism to prevent having to open it up. They build these defenses by carefully constructing a persona, or outer appearance, of being perfect. Anything that scratches that surface to reveal the imperfect inside is rejected and fought against. That’s why they reject people who don’t reflect back their perfect image of themselves. They’ll come up with really crazy stories when caught in a lie, and you’ll think, “You really expect me to believe that?” They ignore signs that people are seeing through their carefully constructed veneer.

It’s all really an attempt to avoid the huge black hole of pain inside, and it’s not the same thing as grandiose self-esteem, although it can look like it. True narcissists are actually very fragile inside.

2. These are kids.

The researchers looked at kids from 8 -12 years old, and admit, “Every child is a narcissist.” By the time they’re 12, their peers have beaten their self-esteem up a bit. The problem, though, is that kids that are 12 are still pretty labile, and are heading into a time of hormones and intensity, if they’re not already there. They fluctuate madly between feeling on top of the world and feeling like the scum of the earth.

3. The paradox of confidence

The paradox of confidence is that feeling confident and having true self-worth actually comes from admitting and accepting your faults, and still being OK with yourself. That’s what we need to teach kids.

Please don’t stop praising your kids, they need to feel that they’re special to you. But you can also teach them to follow rules that are set up for fairness, to have empathy for others, and to wait their turn. They need to believe that you really see them, with their strengths and their weaknesses, and that your love isn’t conditional to their performance.

I’m not saying there aren’t kids out there who feel genuinely entitled and better than their peers, there are. I know a few. But what I don’t want people to miss is that this study distinguishes between training your kid to feel entitled and making them feel loved. I liked that at the end of the NPR article, it quotes the main researcher as suggestion parents just tell their kid that they love them. “It’s what you mean, and it’s a much better message,” says Dr. Bushman.

Beginner’s Guide to Boundaries, Part II: Let it All In, or Overly-Permeable Boundaries

Remember the example I gave last time of the classmate who was way too bothered by the way I ate my bagel? That would be an example of overly-permeable boundaries. Not having strong enough boundaries means that your behavior is overly dictated by others.

When parents have a baby, there’s a symbiotic relationship between them and the baby. If they’re functional, the parents are very attuned to the baby’s needs, and their world pretty much revolves around the baby. I woke up twice a night with my sons for (what seemed like) forever, nursed them, rocked them and got them back to sleep. That would be a very permeable boundary – I was letting their needs dictate my behavior, which was appropriate and necessary for healthy infant development.

Now, they’re 10 and 12 years old, and I do not automatically wake up when they do. In fact, if they’re up before me, I have them trained to be pretty quiet and get their own breakfast if I’m sleeping. That boundary has gotten more rigid as they’ve gotten older. Healthy child development means that the boundaries between us become stronger – both they and I have more privacy in our relationship, and they gradually are becoming more independent from me.

Sometimes it’s hard for parents to tolerate the growing boundaries between them and their children. I see unhealthy boundaries between parents and children all the time in my office – parents who expect their child to keep fulfilling them even after the child is grown, or who expect to be able to control their child’s lives well after the child should have control of their own lives. It should be the parent who helps the child develop healthy boundaries, but in these cases the adult child has to, unfortunately, fight against their parent to create healthy boundaries for themselves.

young couple

photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões Used by permission via Creative Commons License

In intimate relationships, it’s also confusing. Boundaries that are too rigid prevent intimacy, but boundaries that are
overly permeable mean that the individuals lose their individuality and become merged. I’m sure we’ve all known at least one couple that seems like they’ve become one entity instead of two separate people. Psychologists tend to think that a healthy relationship lies somewhere in the middle, but what ends up happening in reality is that it’s a dynamic that keeps shifting. Sometimes you’re closer, sometimes you’re a little more distant. Sometimes one partner wants boundaries in one place, and the other partner wants them to be somewhere else. Staying in one extreme for too long is not healthy, because couples need a balance between intimacy and individuality.

Boundaries are also culturally based – cultures can influence what partners share with each other and what remains separate. In the US and Western Europe, we tend to value individuality within a partnership, and individuation from one’s family of origin, more than some other cultures might.

Ultimately, boundaries are very complex, and vary according to situation and history. Trying to find the balance between having intimate relationships, but not being overtaken by someone else’s needs and emotions, is the work of a lifetime.

 

Beginner’s Guide to Boundaries: Part 1 – Overly Rigid Boundaries

Boundaries for DummiesMy undergraduate psychology classwork was very research-oriented, not clinical at all. So when I started my Master’s program in the early 90’s, I kept hearing the word “boundaries” when dicussing relationships and I had no idea what the hell people were talking about. The only boundaries I knew about were property lines. The term seems a lot more common now, but it still gets mixed up. And knowing what constitutes healthy boundaries can be pretty confusing.

One professor described them as this: “Boundaries are where you end, and the other person begins.” I’m sorry, huh?  What does that even mean? I was very confused.

It’s probably easier to understand boundaries by first giving examples of bad boundaries. Personal boundaries run along a continuum between overly rigid boundaries (keeping people at arm’s distance and not having very intimate relationships) and overly permeable (too close, not enough separation between yourself and other people) boundaries. Most therapists agree that healthy boundaries are somewhere in the middle – allowing intimacy and closeness, but not enmeshment.

In this post, let’s look at overly rigid boundaries:

People with overly rigid boundaries

tend to be less trusting

don’t reveal much about themselves

don’t let people in easily.

tend to have pretty specific rules about how people should act,

if they think someone in their circle offends or violates them in some way, they’re likely to cut them off completely.

Examples: 

Angela in the “The Office” (US version), where she talks about not speaking to her sister for 16 years, and says proudly about her stamina in giving the silent treatment, “Yeah, I’m pretty good.” What’s ironic is that people with rigid boundaries usually end up being controlled by others, although they rarely see it that way.

A housemate of mine in grad school who left a note for us after his first day in the house, “Someone used my yellow cup. I’m starting to feel unsafe.” The culture of the house was that we used each other’s dishware as long as we washed it, so we felt his boundary of “Do Not Touch My Kitchenware!” was a little rigid.

A classmate told me she hated the way I ate my bagel. I ate it into a square, so it was a square around a hole, before eating the whole thing. I told her to get some boundaries. She felt I was crossing her boundary by eating my bagel in a way she didn’t like, and I thought she was crossing my boundary by suggesting she had any say at all in how I ate my bagel. (To her credit, she did eventually admit I was right).

See up there where it says they tend to have lots of rules about how people should behave? They also tend to think these rules are self-evident. Our old housemate could have saved us all a lot of grief if he’d said right off the bat, “Oh, by the way, please don’t touch my kitchen stuff.” We had no idea that was his boundary, but he thought it was obvious.

If you find yourself having to correct people’s behaviors often, or feeling offended and the person who offended you seems genuinely puzzled about what they did wrong, you might have overly rigid boundaries.

There are some situations where it’s OK to have rigid boundaries. To be successful and continue the work we do week after week, therapists have to have clear boundaries. One boundary that I’m pretty rigid about is start and end times of sessions. I feel like it’s important for clients to know how much time they have, and that I’ll be ready for them at their appointment time. Barring emergencies, I’m pretty good about starting each session right on time. That means I have to end on time, as well. Most clients are very respectful of this. 

Occasionally I’ll meet someone who has lots of difficulty getting out the door after a session, and continues to talk well after I’ve said the session is over. That’s one reason I build a 10 minute break in between sessions.  Sometimes I meet someone who I really have to work with to get them out the door by the next session. In these cases, I know I’ve met someone who might have trouble with boundaries. In fact, they might have overly permeable boundaries, which we’ll talk about in the next post.

What NOT to Say When Someone Tells You They’re Taking Antidepressants

What NOT to say when your friend tells you they're taking antidepressants

What NOT to say when your friend tells you they’re taking antidepressants

There is still such a stigma about having mental health issues that many people hide the fact that they are taking antidepressants. Chances are good that one of your friends right now is taking them and you don’t know about it.

Why all the mystery? Because people have a habit of thinking they know more than Ph.Ds and MDs in the field, and can get very judgmental about an individual’s choice to take medication to help alleviate the pain of depression.

Although the following comments usually come out of genuine concern, if your friend or family member trusts you enough to let you know they’ve made that decision, here are some reactions to avoid:

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

I can guarantee you they’ve thought about it longer and harder than you have in the 10 seconds since they told you. No one WANTS to start taking antidepressants, but sometimes it’s the only way to jog the brain chemicals so they start working the way they’re supposed to.

“I don’t believe in that stuff.”

OK, then don’t take them. Maybe you don’t need them. But your friend has gotten to the end of their rope, and is ready to try them. The last thing they need is for you to be judgmental.

“Aren’t you afraid you’ll get addicted?”

The answer’s probably yes to this one, but there comes a time when the idea of being depressed forever is more terrifying. Besides, antidepressants aren’t addictive in the way narcotics are. Some people do need them for the rest of their lives, though, just like a diabetic might need insulin for the rest of their life.

“Is it going to change your personality?”

Antidepressants don’t change your personality. When they work, they lift the mood enough that people can function again.  They give people hope again. They give people enough energy to start working on their lives.

“Have you tried SAM-E/essential oils/random-chinese-herb?”

Now is not the time to play Naturopath with your friend. Unless they live under a rock, they are aware that there are natural “alternatives” touted for their mood-lifting qualities. I have heard anecdotal evidence that some people are helped quite a bit through these alternatives, and that’s great – let’s keep doing research on them and make sure they’re safe and effective. But the fact remains, psychotropic medications have been researched and tested far more rigorously than the herbs you get off your drug store shelf. Whatever you think about Big Pharm and western medicine, keep these opinions to yourself right now.

Basically, don’t make them defend their decision. Unless they ask you specifically what your opinion is on psychotropic medication, they’re telling you something that has been a big decision for them, and that you’re important enough in their life to tell.

What TO say when your friend tells you they’re on antidepressants:

“I’m sorry things have been so tough. How are you feeling?”

Then, listen if they want to talk. That’s all you have to do.

Why Therapy Has to Be In Person

stock-footage-young-man-sitting-on-sofa-talking-to-his-therapist-at-therapy-sessionWith all of the virtual communities popping up all over the place, I’ve been thinking a lot about different modes of services I could offer young adults. The world is so wired in now, why shouldn’t my clients expect me to be, too? A lot of people wonder why they have to give up an hour (plus driving time) to come see me in my office.

I think video chat could work, although I hate Skype, mostly because it’s so hard to make eye contact on it. You’re not making eye contact, you’re staring at your camera. I don’t do video therapy yet, but I may go with it because I think it makes therapy more accessible, and I’m all for that.

I do phone sessions when it’s necessary, but it’s not an ideal way to do therapy. Here’s why:

You say, “No, really, I get along great with my mother.”

In person, I can see you shift in your seat, avoid eye contact, reach for a drink of water, and get uncomfortable. That tells me that maybe it’s complicated, and maybe I should probe a bit more in order to get the scoop. Or, you smile genuinely, and I can see that she’s an important support person in your life. That’s important information for me.

As you can imagine, It’s a whole lot easier to assess those things in person, or even over a computer, than on the phone. On the phone, I’m trying to pick up hints in your tone of voice, without any of the visual clues that help me assess what’s going on.

Also, silences.

In person, I usually know why there’s silence. You’re digesting something you or I just said; you’re feeling strong emotions and having trouble speaking; you’re checking out and need to be pulled back.

On the phone. silence could mean you’re feeding your dog and having trouble managing the food and the phone at the same time – I have no way of knowing. On the phone, I’m a lot more likely to say something into the silence than I am in person, because I just can’t tell what’s going on.

I do phone sessions when they’re necessary because a client can’t make it into the office, but they’re not ideal.

And that’s why I need to actually see you. For now, it’s in my office. Eventually, who knows, maybe they’ll figure out a way people can make eye contact over Skype.

Top 5 Relationship Life Skills: How Many Do You Have?

Last week a Buzzfeed post was going around on Facebook: How Many Basic Life Skills Do You Have?  A friend of mine wisely pointed out that none of these 100 Essential Life Skills were relationship skills.

I think if you’re able to have good relationships, you can probably find someone to help you “cook meat to a desired level.”

So here are my top 5 relationship skills. In putting together this list, I’m thinking mainly about romantic/love relationships, but they work for friendships, too.

1. Know How to Listen1422276_45008904

Because I’ve been a Professional Listener for over 20 years, sometimes I forget that it’s actually a learned skill. I’m usually reminded how few people really know how to listen when I spend time with someone who isn’t a good listener.

First off, listening is *not* waiting for the other person to stop talking so you can share your story. Listening involves really following what someone is saying, and then asking questions to clarify or deepen your understanding of what the other person is saying. Listening involves having a reaction to what the other person is saying: do you let your face reflect your surprise, sorrow, anger, or enjoyment as your partner is talking? Do your comments reflect that you’ve understood what they’re saying?

Are you able to figure out the difference between someone really needing to vent or be heard, and to stay quieter at those times, and a conversation where the other person has the energy and ability to listen to you, too?

 

2. Know How to Apologize

True apologies don’t contain the word “but.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” is also not a true apology. If you’re sad that your partner is hurt but you really don’t think you did anything wrong, say that.

Don’t apologize if you didn’t do anything wrong. If there’s disagreement about that, you have to talk it out so you and your partner can figure out where the disconnect is.

If you have done something you’re sorry for, say it. Maybe even say it twice. I know – it’s hard. It’s hard to admit you’ve made a mistake. But a true apology goes a LONG way towards softening anger and maintaining connection. I’ve had partners tell me, “I can’t apologize because it gives them too much power.” And I always ask, “What exactly are you able to hold onto by withholding an apology? Your pride? Is it worth it?”

 

3. Know How to Fight Fair

When you share your life with someone, you’re going to have disagreements. There are going to be misunderstandings, and you’re going to make each other mad sometimes. That’s life. But knowing how to navigate through those times can make the difference between celebrating your 40th anniversary together, or once again paying the divorce lawyer.

Fighting fair means staying on topic. Figure out what the main point is that you want to get across, and stick to that. Take a time out to think if you have to. Most of us don’t think very clearly when emotions are running high. It’s a lot more productive to figure out that you need more help around the house and to say so, then to call your husband an F-ing asshole. If you’re furious, chances are pretty good that you’re going to come out with guns blazing, and your partner/co-worker/friend is going to feel attacked and nothing constructive is going to happen. Take a break to calm down and re-engage the rational part of your brain.

Fighting fair means no name calling. See above. The idea in fighting fair is to keep both of you from getting defensive and shutting down. Being mean is not going to further your interests. Ever. It just creates so much more hurt to clean up later.

Fighting fair also means not just getting your point across, but listening to your partner’s point of view. See #1.

 

4. Know How to Open Up

“What does it mean,’ he asked, ‘when she says she wants me to open up? I tell her how my day was. I tell her whatever she wants to know. I don’t know what else to do!”

Opening up means telling your partner about what’s going on inside you – what you’re thinking about your job, how you’re feeling about your parents’ aging, what is making you anxious, what is making you happy. Not everyone has practice articulating their inner life, and it’s possible your partner just isn’t used to anyone being interested in hearing about it.

Opening up is how we gain intimacy in relationships. It’s how we feel closer to each other. If you’re not very good at it, try to get better. That’s all anyone can really ask. A good faith effort goes a long way.

If you could open up, though, and are choosing not to, you may be withholding part of yourself from your partner, and your partner may be hurt by this. Some people are really all out there with everything, and some people hold their cards closer to their chest. It’s a personal decision, but if you’re partner continues to feel like you’re being distant or withholding, you might want to consider why you’d be afraid to be close to them.

 

5. Know When to Be Honest, and When to Be Kind. 

Yep, I’m gonna say it. Honesty is overrated. Sometimes kindness is more important. Where’s the line? You’ll have to figure that out for yourself. Just trust me when I say that very few couples make it through the long haul without sometimes choosing kindness over honesty.

I’m not talking about keeping huge secrets or betrayals. I’m talking about telling your wife she’s gorgeous even (maybe especially) when she’s not feeling gorgeous. I’m talking about not criticizing your husband for the way he folds towels, and just quietly refolding them yourself if you have to. Or swallowing your annoyance about them being late again when they finally show up flustered and upset about whatever delayed them.

People get very touchy when I bring this up. “Aren’t we supposed to be able to say anything? Are you asking me to put all my needs aside?”

Of course not. All I’m saying is, let’s have a little tact and common sense. How important is the complaint you’re about to lodge? Really, really important? You’re not going to be able to sleep unless you address it? Then by all means, have at it. Let your feelings be known.

But is it a minor annoyance and maybe your partner’s had a bad day? Eh….consider letting it go. Maybe next time it happens the timing will be better and you can gently bring it up. Maybe not.

 

 

These are both the skills that I think help my husband and I stay happily married, and the skills that I think have been most important for the couples I’ve worked with. I know there are more, and I’m sure I’ll be writing more about them in the future. If there’s one I haven’t listed that you think is vital, please mention it in the comments.

 

 

 

BRB

June 2009 Mosaic

June 2009 Mosaic (Photo credit: Jill Clardy)

Hello all –  I’m taking a few weeks off to finish the school year, get ready for summer and take care of some personal matters. I’m always collecting topics to write about, and I’m excited to return mid-June with some really interesting subjects! Hope the weather is good where you are, and everyone enjoy the beginning of summer!

 

 

Full-Color Friday: Money Edition

Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants. – Benjamin Franklin

Money is defined as something we exchange for goods and services.

Full-Color Friday: Money Edition

We work, and our work is decided to have a certain monetary value. The more we work, the more money we get. We use the money we earn to obtain good and services. Pretty simple, right?

But we all know it’s not that simple. Money is so much more than just money. People use money to fill a number of holes in their lives.

Money is Power.

Money is used for domination and control. Just look at how money and donations control our government and dictates who will get elected. People listen to people with money.

Money is Security.

Money can act as an emotional safety blanket. When asked what emotion comes up most frequently when thinking about money, more people responded with “anxiety” than any other emotion. Having whatever you think is “enough” in savings can reduce this anxiety. But if you need to dip into that, or the balance falls below a certain amount, the anxiety can be overwhelming.

Money is Love.

Who hasn’t seen someone, maybe yourself, who’s tried to buy love with money? Kids sometimes think they can “buy” their friends. We buy expensive gifts to show our love, or we think the monetary value of the gifts we receive reflects the amount of love behind them.

Money is Freedom.

Sometimes we think, the more money we have, the less we are under the control of others. We can be free of debt to others, others’ can’t tell us what to do or how to do our job. With “enough” money, we fantasize that no one will tell us how to spend either our money or our time.

Here are some links to help you start understanding your relationship to money:

Understanding and Sharing Your Emotional History with Money

Here’s a document from the Utah State University Extension. It’s 3 pages long, but it’s a good start with questions to ask yourself about your own family’s history with money and the attitudes you’ve carried with you from that history.

Creative vs. StructuredLogic

In this short article, money coach Tracia Larimar says that all of us are somewhere on a continuum between creative and logical nature, and that money problems arise if we are too much of one type and there is a lack of balance.

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

That’s kind of a mouthful. This book has long been considered the bible for reforming your relationship to money. Online and real life study groups abound. There’s a reason it’s been so popular for so long – it’s no-nonsense and straightforward about how to think straight about money. Most people attracted want to simplify their lives and get out of the rat race, so there’s some leaning towards off-the-grid thinking here. But the book has staying power and much good information.

Full-Color Friday: The Imperfect Mother Edition

To me, Mother’s Day is a bigger deal than my birthday. I don’t remember making a choice about being born, and as I get older, frankly, I’m not as  thrilled about celebrating that I’m one year closer to death. (Remember when I told you that optimism doesn’t come naturally to me? Like now.)

But I did make a choice about becoming a mother. Twice, in fact. I chose this life of dirty socks, underwear, piles of crap everywhere, meals that sit untouched as a young one complains about being hungry, surreptitiously helping to readjust athletic cups, rooms that never stay clean and sticky floors. I chose to be handed things out of a child’s mouth when he decides that swallowing is just something he doesn’t feel like doing.

I chose to never go to the bathroom unaccompanied, to listen to wailing about math homework that’s too hard or contains too many problems, to get kicked in the ribs when a young one decides to share our queen-size bed, to always share my fries or ice cream.

I chose worrying about all the things that are out of my control, terrors that could steal them away and keep them from reaching adulthood. Worrying that they’d be bullied. Worrying that they would become the bully.

Mothering is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There are days when it’s harder than others. A friend of mine and I were talking this morning about how some days, you just have to say to yourself, “OK, today, I wasn’t the mother I want to be. Maybe tomorrow.”

I am not the mother I wanted to be. I think I expected all my selfishness would just leave me and I’d happily put everything aside for my child. I thought that’s what happened when you had a baby.

Boy, was I wrong. I look at my childless friends and the trips they’re taking, or the time they have to take classes, pursue interests, and I envy them. I wouldn’t trade my kids for that, no, but man, there are so many times I wish I could have both.

I am far less patient that I’d like. Sometimes I’m downright mean. Sometimes I just want them to leave me alone. But I chose this life, and frankly, I want some recognition for everything I’ve given up. The selfish part, it turns out, didn’t go away.

So, Mother’s Day is really important to me, and I deserve it. And so do all the other mothers out there who have carved huge pieces out of their hearts and lives trying to bring good, happy people into the world.  (And dads too – but Father’s Day is in June). I deserve it for all the times I didn’t scream. For the times I gave them birthday parties instead of buying myself a new dress. For the 100,000th explanation of how you borrow and regroup in double-digit subtraction. For the 64th drawing of Thomas the Train Engine that day. For the hours I spent listening to how you built your Minecraft world when, honestly, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m just glad you still like to talk to me.

We are not perfect mothers, any of us. And sometimes, this mothering gig is really freakin’ hard. Today’s links celebrate the Imperfect Mother.

A few years ago, Alice at Finslippy had a tough day with her son and begged for bad parents stories to make her feel better. She got a ton, and they were awesome. Ridiculously awesome. I have them bookmarked.

Janelle Hanchett at Brain, Child wrote a thought-provoking piece about her failures as a mother. I love in her bio that she writes, “I didn’t write the story of my alcoholism for a long time, not because I was ashamed, but because I didn’t feel like I should be congratulated for taking on responsibilities that were always mine.”

A friend of mine from high school, Laurie Kilmartin, gathered some other crappy moms and wrote Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us. It’s funny and irreverent, and takes on the sanctimonious parenting advice we all hear.

Speaking of sanctimonious, have you heard of the term Sanctimommy? Hell, I’ve been Sanctimommy sometimes. We all have, because this parenting thing is anxiety-provoking and we want validation that we’re doing the right thing. So we judge other parents who make different choices. Sometimes it’s good to laugh at it, though, so you could follow Sanctimommy on Facebook for some perspective.

Celebrate your Imperfect Mom and/or celebrate your imperfection as a mother this Sunday.  We all deserve it.

 

 

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