A Young Parent Response to the Church Abuse Crisis

Monday, March 18, 2019

Yesterday, an article was published by The Atlantic about how parents are responding to the abuse crisis within the Catholic Church. I was interviewed for the article, but I was still surprised, and sometimes shocked, by what my fellow parents had to say.

Age is a Factor

I was the youngest person interviewed, at 28, and I want to talk about something that has come up repeatedly in the past months of grappling with the crisis. 2002 seems to be a dividing line in the young Catholic experience - in the same way the 2009 crash is a dividing line in our generational experience of employment.

If you were a child at the time of the 2002 scandal breaking, a first feeling seems to be more on the side of anger and a call for justice. We were the kids who were old enough to see and hear about what was going on, but too young to do much about it. We came of age into a world that was formed by that crisis.
Those who were teens or adults in 2002 seem to be reacting very differently. I've found many of the parents older than me to be apathetic or downright antagonistic toward discussing the Church crisis. Many have told me that "it doesn't concern them."

Obviously there are exceptions to both of these generalizations, but it's enough of a pattern that I think it should be noticed and understood if we are going to do a better job this time around. Maybe good enough to mean there won't need to be a next time.

Responses can not be just about my family and my kids. 

Back in September I wrote for YA Respond that our response, as parents, cannot be just about MY family and MY kids.

 "We cannot retreat and focus solely on ourselves and our families as a means of protecting our families. Our families have already been violated.

The survivors are not distant people - they ARE family. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we truly mean to follow Jesus, we must follow him when he says "Love one another as I have loved you."

It's important to raise your own kids to be strong in their intellectual understanding of faith, healthy boundaries, etc. Absolutely! But it's not enough. We must all look, and work, beyond familial ties in this narrow sense if we are going to honestly be Church.

Stop buying into, and propagating, the lies of factionalism.

This is my fancy way of saying “quit thinking that people who look/think/do like you are unlikely to be abusers or abusees.”

Seriously, stop it.

One quote that shocked and appalled me from The Atlantic article was this one from Chris Meyerle's interview. "The way a priest says Mass, Mayerle believes, is one clue to his personality, and that plays a role in whether or not Mayerle will trust him."
"... One of the things we look for is when they do things the way they’re supposed to. In other words, they’re obedient—it means they’re probably obedient to their vows also. When they just start winging it, it means they view themselves as their own authority, which I don’t think is healthy."

I've heard this before from self-identified traditionalist Catholics, and other identity factions within the Catholic Church. Maybe there's something to it. Maybe that priest might be safer.

But what has been made clear through investigations, like the John Jay Report, is that there is no standard profile of a priest likely to abuse. Just like in the secular world, predators are smart and can blend in. They could be anyone, anywhere - even your Latin mass saying priest who loves all the smells and bells.

I don't say this to be alarmist, but to convey what I have learned from the stories that survivors have told me over the past few months. Many repeated that they think they were targeted, in part, because they believed abuse couldn't happen.
Because he was a good priest.
Because they were a smart person.
Because it only happened to altar boys in the 1960s.
Ultimately, believing that a category of person cannot be an abuser, in my opinion, makes you and yours an easier abuse target. You have made a nice wide blindspot for yourself. Those blindspots of unfounded beliefs are what predators hope to find. Falling for this lie, and propagating it, is dangerous and reckless.

Survivors might look like anyone

I've heard many Catholics speak recklessly about the abuse crisis, and I'm starting to wonder if it's because they have never met a survivor - that they know of. You might be surprised at who they are. They’re not all angry old ex-altar boys. They can be older women, young women, young men, seminarians, even priests themselves. Their abuse might have been decades ago, it might have been last week.

Abuse is appalling in all situations, and it’s never our place to judge if someone was abused enough or if they really were victimized. Maybe you believe that any adult who gets in an abusive situation was somehow reckless or asking for it (real comments from real people, everybody.) But frankly you don't know what you don't know.
If someone decides to trust you enough to open up to you with their story, the best response you can give is "I believe you." Let the police sort out validity, etc. Your job is to hear and love that person - not to pass judgement on their story.

Be aware when you talk about the abuse crisis, there might very well be someone in the room with a personal experience. Let’s try to act in that awareness.

What we should do

  • Listen. If you have no first experience with abuse - congratulations. But you will probably have to work more actively to cultivate empathy for those with that experience. All of us, myself included, can work on becoming better listeners for those who need our humanity.
  • Find a way to make space for victim/survivors. We talk about how the poor have a special claim on us as Christians. Survivors/victims of clergy abuse have an even more personal claim. Often they are fellow Catholics abused within the church. We have a personal obligation to them, as our brothers and sisters, to minister to them in love and facilitate healing - full stop. Not if we feel personally called. Not if it happens to come up. Not if it is convenient. If you are a faithful Catholic, these are your people and your family who have been hurt so deeply by those in our family. It doesn’t get more personal, urgent, and necessary than that.
  • If your parish/pastor isn’t making active moves toward healing, openness, and discussion of the crisis, talk to him. You have a claim on your pastor to remind him to minister to his full flock - not just the 10% who run the ship. He might need someone to give him that boost of confidence to do this part of pastoring well.
  • Talk about the good things that ARE happening. Right now there are lay people all over the country, and the world, working on creative responses to the crisis. Let's talk to each other! There is no need for us all the re-invent the wheel individually. Let people know what you are doing, what worked, what didn't, what you learned. We all need the encouragement of collective effort to make real, on going, change in our ability to love and be Church for each other.

I would love to hear your thoughts on The Atlantic article, and what I had to say here! What have you noticed? What is good that is happening in your diocese or parish? What still needs to happen? 

If you are one of the people who have shared your story with me in the past, Thank You! From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate your openness and willingness to teach me in sharing your story.

We Had a House Fire and Lent is Still Coming

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

If you follow me on social media, you might have already heard that we had a house fire this past Saturday. Everyone is fine. I was home and caught it within seconds of it starting. The fire department responded very quickly and were able to put it out and save our home.

The fire originated in the kitchen breaker box. The box is completely ruined, as is the surrounding wall. Smoke damage is pretty extensive. There is no power to the house right now, aside from a tiny bit to run the furnace to prevent the pipes from freezing in our sub-zero temps.

It was just the baby and I home when it happened - my husband and the big kids were at swim lessons. It's still unclear why the fire started then. We weren't using any big appliances at the time and nothing looked overloaded.

I heard a bang while I was in the living room. Looked into the kitchen and saw smoke and some flames coming from the breaker box. I had a brief moment when I was considering filling a pot with water and was looking for the fire extinguisher. But the banging/popping sound kept happening, and whenever it did the smoke and flames came back bigger and bigger.

I quickly decided I needed to call 911 and evacuate with the baby. While on the phone with the 911 dispatch, I started throwing all flammable objects across the room from the flames. I ran upstairs and grabbed the baby, my snow boots, and our coats, and ran outside to wait for the fire truck.

Felicity did see the flames on our way out the door, and it deeply scared her. She screamed and cried like nothing I've ever heard from a small child. I put her in her snowsuit when we got outside. Once she was in her snowsuit, she just laid her head on me and wouldn't move or talk or react for a while.

Our neighbor popped out to tell us we could wait in her house while the firemen were working. Felicity perked up at the prospect of getting to see the neighbor boys and their dog. Matt and the big kids arrived home not long afterward. The kids all stayed with the neighbor most of the afternoon as Matt and I were in and out talking to the firemen, the electric company, on the phone with insurance, and packing up what clothes and food we could to last for a few days.

As far as I can understand it now, the sound I was hearing was the electricity arcing within the box. Even after the fire was out, the box continued to arc - hence why we have the power shut off to the house until everything is safely repaired.

For the foreseeable future we will be staying at a local extended stay hotel. Our community has been amazing: bringing us meals, doing laundry, helping with the kids, offering prayers, and generally rocking the whole showing up thing.

It's hard to fully appreciate all the little conveniences, routines, and support that are there until they're needed. Every little kindness shines so much stronger when you don't have a way to repay the kindness right now.

We're really very lucky. This happened in the middle of a sunny afternoon and was caught as quickly as possible. For many others it starts in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep. Many other people have lost their entire homes, and they're completely starting over. We're just inconvenienced and repairing.

Before all of this happened, I had already made my Lent plan. Per my usual, I do a give up, a take on, and a pray on.

I had intended to make my pray on an intention for the healing of victims of abuse, and will keep that.

My give up was intended to be a whole family one - meat. When we lived in California, we were better about eating a wide variety of vegetables and being adventurous in our daily meals. We've become a bit lax about it in the Midwest. I would not normally attempt a whole family diet-related Lenten practice, but since we had previously eaten this way much of the time, don't have any food restrictions, allergies, or aversions, and generally have people willing to eat what's made - it felt like a safe bet.
But the fire changed a lot of those good plans. We've decided to still shoot for meatless meals as much as possible, but if the choice is going to come between being grateful for someone's generosity or adhering to a dietary practice - I believe it would be better to humble ourselves and accept what is given. Because let's be real, that's the harder choice for me.

Now get ready to laugh at my hubris.

My take on was totally going to be a feel good one - intentional community. I wanted to reconnect with old and new friends, and be better about reaching out to them more often. That "be careful what you ask for" adage is sometimes very true.

The fire has drastically changed what our Lent will look like, but it might be for the better. I don't know how this will all play out, or when we will get to go home again, but I am more aware than ever how good we have it. This has been a time of renewal, trial by fire (literally), and an opportunity for growth in ways I would likely have never done without such a need.

Maybe Don't Diet for Lent

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Lent is coming in a matter of days (days!). Which  means "What are you giving up?" is the Catholic conversation starter of choice.

In the past few years I've seen a progression from giving up soda, desserts, or alcohol to giving up whole food groups or taking on highly restrictive diets. While not necessarily a bad practice, and comes with the territory if you are an Eastern rite Catholic, I wonder if this is becoming popular for non-spiritually fruitful reasons.

Often I've heard the argument that using fad restrictive diets is an easy way to challenge yourself and to get information about your body. While Whole 30, Keto, Paleo and whatever else is the hip way to eat in a year from now, may hit the criteria of challenging your food choices, I'm not sure they are useful as a Lenten practice.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before choosing a restrictive diet as your Lenten discipline.

If you're brutally honest, why you want to do this?

It's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking Lent will work like a magic spell. Everything you touch in the name of Lent will work out because it's a holy time! When we think like this, we forget that we are still ourselves. We still come into Lent with our personalities, baggage, struggles, and state of life.

Is your relationship to food something that has been difficult for you for a while?
Do you believe the foods you are cutting out via the diet are "bad" foods?
Did you pick this diet because it's popular in your friend group?

These are all questions that deserve some thought before embarking on this Lent!

Have you struggled with "failing" Lents before?

Do you tend to set your Lenten bar high, and go into deep disappointment when you slip up? Has that happened over and over?

Even though the fasting and abstinence traditions in the Eastern rites look incredibly demanding (and are demanding) that bar is more of a aspiration than it is a base level. Perhaps give yourself some grace this Lent and choose to set your bar high and work up to it. Or make small conscientious choices throughout the day instead of cutting food groups out wholesale.

Consider the weight your mortification will place on others

Perhaps you don't mind subsisting on veggies exclusively, cutting out all added sugars, or having limited protein sources - but is that true for your spouse? Is it reasonable to plan on making multiple dinners? Are your choices going to make it difficult to participate in community events? Thinking about the impact your choices have on others is a big part of being true Church.

Think beyond the food box

Maybe what you seek to rectify is not really about food. Perhaps you are struggling with self-discipline. Or simplicity. Or generosity.

Many of us grew up giving up a food something as a Lenten discipline, and still think of food restrictions as The Way to Lent. But I would like to challenge you to a little more honesty and awareness of your own struggles. Name the underlying struggle you are trying to address.

Last year I realized partway through Lent that I was struggling with procrastination. It didn't look like it, I'm very much a type A over-doer, but I was procrastinating never the less.
Phone calls would get carried over on my to do list for weeks.
Prayer time was something I would get to "later".
I would avoid rest by finding just one more chore to do.
Choosing to be aware of my underlying struggle made for a fruitful Lent that didn't leave me feeling like a failure for my slip ups!

Have you ever done a restrictive diet for Lent? What were your reasons? Did it make for a fruitful Lent? What did you learn?

Amelia Hill House - 1 Year In

Friday, February 22, 2019

Facebook reminded me that today marks one whole year since we closed on Amelia Hill House.
Here's the things that have, and haven't, changed about this little homestead in the past year.

What Has Changed

A lot of non-glamorous stuff

Anyone who has bought an old house can tell you that they can take a ton of upstart work - a lot of which does nothing to improve aesthetics.
Before we moved in we knew the electric needed substantial replacement. The attic had too little insulation and what was there included the remains of some critters who moved in for a bit. The water softener was not functioning, and the entire house needed a through cleaning after sitting empty for a number of years.

Some dream projects did happen

The kitchen wasn't just not aesthetically pleasing, many of appliances were on their last legs or were straight up non-functioning. Before move in we opted to re-do the entire kitchen area and downstairs bathroom.

Bathroom - Before

Kitchen - Before

I'm so grateful we did. We got to design a kitchen that would work well for us - adding in an island and rigging up a gas range.
The bathroom is so much more usable, and the re-do took care of a mildew problem that we didn't know was happening under some cabinets.

Bathroom - After

Kitchen - After

Library is Reality!

I have dreamed about having my own library since seeing Beauty and the Beast as a kid.

I mean, who wouldn't?!
When we saw the downstairs bedroom was really very awkward as a bedroom (it's right off the dining room and shares a bathroom with the kitchen) the dream of a library was born.

Has become this:

Surprise House History

A year ago we thought this house only dated to 1901. Which is, granted, still over a century old, but not as old as it might be. After finding a letter from the great-granddaughter of the original builder, I have put in a decent amount of research to corroborate her story and track down what I can about the house and original family.
It's a thrill to find even a scrap of newspaper in the library archives that mentions the correct Schmidt family (which I now know that name is to peoples of German descent that Smith is to English. Oh so many false trails.) I've had some success tracking down the original land patent and records of the various land buys and deals that created the farmland our home was designed to oversee. 
The local historic society is getting interested in learning more about the German speaking founders of the city, and thinks our house might be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, still standing. Hopefully I can put in more research time this summer and find out! 

Many projects are on back back burner

The house underwent renovation projects in the 1950s and 1970s. The 1970s has left us the popcorn ceilings and soot stained sandstone fireplace. I would love to tackle the damaged wallpaper in the dining room and living room, finish painting the day nursery, and finally get a lot of our art up on the walls.
But does it cause daily living or safety issues? No.
So it's been a practice in letting go and allowing fixing up Amelia Hill House to be a slow meander rather than a sprint. 

Summer Take Two

Buying a house in Minnesota in the winter meant we had no idea what was underneath all that snow and ice!
This summer will be our first time getting serious about gardening, and taking advantage of the blessed former owner who designed our yard to always have something blooming during the growing season.

Just before winter set in, I found an egress window to a crawl space under the guest house that I didn't know existed. We also have a well under the guest house that needs to be capped this Spring/Summer. I see some summer archaeology in our future!

It's Really Home

The house has now seen everyone's birthday, a Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. After years of renting and moving and always being ready to pack up and leave, the feeling of getting to settle in is a luxury. We're still learning. It's still a heck of a lot of work, and there will be more to come, but this house seems to be up for the task of sheltering a new motley crew of young-ins - 144 years after the first set.

Linking up with This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

A Prayer for the Clerics at the Vatican Summit on Abuse

Monday, February 18, 2019

"If you were an educated laywoman in Rome [this] week, what would you do? Who would you talk to you? What would you say?"

Meg Hunter-Kilmer asked this question a few days ago, and it took me a little while to process the possibility. Even though I'm an educated Catholic woman, who is anything but leery of speaking my mind, I must confess I have never honestly believed that men in the upper echelons of the clergy would have any interest in what I have to say.
Because I don't wield any canonical power.
Because I don't have a degree in Philosophy, Theology, or Law.

But I do have dreams, hopes, and longings of my soul that scream to be told to these men who have been entrusted with the future of our Church.
I will be honest and say I don't have much of any faith in these men as a group - even though I hold individuals in high esteem for the help and support I have witnessed them generously give toward healing the offenses of their brothers. I don't expect this summit to bring closure, a path forward, or be much more than finally getting around to doing "the least they could do."

But I recklessly continue to pray, against the evidence of my senses and mind, that these men will surprise us all.

I pray that the magnitude and gravity of the offenses committed be unavoidable

How often have I read statements and comments from bishops, cardinals, and priests that just show that they don't fully understand the seriousness of the situation. That they cannot consider the possibility that their vows classmate, seminary buddy, associate, etc. could have fallen so far from the standards of decent humanity. I pray daily that the scales will fall from their eyes, and that they will have the strength to accept the failings of their brothers with a full and swift justice.

I pray that the feminine genius be allowed to serve its role

Even though, as far as I know, this meeting is being held by and for the male clergy, I pray that women may be allowed to serve their role and form these men. This means men will have to deliberately practice hearing the women of their flock. Women have the potential to bring new perspectives and innovative solutions for crafting space for healing and reconciling victim-survivors back into the life of the Body of Christ. It's not standing in the place of the priest, but it is standing as a stepping stone for someone who has been violated by the those who wore the face of the church.

I pray that every bishop will confront the demons in their own diocese, and any within themselves

This is particularly that every bishop will not focus solely on the abuse of minors, even though this summit makes that error, but addresses all vulnerable people who have been violated. This requires seeing the scandal of abuse and it's cover up in it's full, messy, complicated evil.

I pray that every cleric will make a conscious decision to see the consequences of depravity and the depth of the betrayal wrought by the systemic cover up of abuse.

Not every priest or deacon has been ready, or willing, to reconsider their own prejudices and blind spots. Too many have leaned into comfortable party lines of blaming Vatican II, liberals, traditionalists, whatever their pet project might be. But to do so uses victims for selfish ends - violating again those who have already been unconscionably violated.
There can be no excuses for evil, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient.

I pray that these realities of our shared history will be poignant and unfathomable

This is a forever turning point in our church history. This is a moment where innocent belief and blind faith has to die away. I pray that the laity will never return to "business as usual". That we will make a collective effort to see and hear the victim-survivors who have found it within themselves to make steps back to the church that has so betrayed them. That we will have willing hands and loving hearts open to fighting against the temptation to fall back into comfortable habits.

I pray that this will be the moment we can honestly stand together, in the fullness of being church, and say "never again."

Logically I know that abuses will happen again, but that doesn't stop me from praying that they won't. I want every member of the church, and every non-Catholic, to stand and see and refuse to look away from abuses when they happen. To prevent as much as we can, and be ready to do what is necessary and just when they do.
Maybe I can't truly hope for "never again" for abuse, but you can bet I'm going to fight tooth and nail for "never again" will another cover up occur in my faith family.

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A Quick Update from the Frozen North

Friday, February 1, 2019

Hello to all who too have just survived a Polar Votex! A quick little newsy update from the, still frozen, North.

Picture from last year. She could have gotten frostbite in under 5 minutes if we attempt this photo this week THAT'S HOW COLD IT WAS.


For a girl used to natural disasters involving sirens the and the risk of sudden death, the winter version of weather emergency is a little...underwhelming? It's a very slow moving emergency! Winter weather doesn't touch everyone with equal danger in the way that a tornado can. More resources = better outcomes in this situation.
As we stayed home and cooked creatively out of the pantry, I tried to reiterate to my kids how having a warm house, working furnace, food in the pantry, isn't a given for everyone.


The kids also learned that snow days don't mean much when you're homeschooled - especially when it's too cold to play outside.
We did start reading Hilda van Stockum's Canadian Summer as our read aloud, and it really does help to read about the height of summer in the depths of winter.


The extreme cold resulted in just about every being cancelled/closed this week. And I mean everything. The bars were even closed on Wednesday, so no St. Brigid ceili dancing for us.

Losing the entire week of rehearsals two weeks before opening is less than ideal. We were supposed to start dress runs this week, but now we haven't tried final costumes, haven't seen the set, haven't done promo photos, and the phones have been down for ticket sales all week.
Some help from St. Genesius would be good right about now.

The cast have been meeting when we can for "line throughs" - which is basically doing a rehearsal sitting down and running lines over and over again. Some might meet over the weekend, but I won't be there because....


I'm going on retreat this weekend!
It's my first retreat in over a decade, and I'm looking forward to it. If you'll be at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota this weekend, say hi! 


In the spirit of embracing our new state, and getting out of my comfort zone, the two older kids and I started ice skating lessons! I've decided the only overlap in skill set between ballet and ice skating is core control and leg muscles. That's it. 
I have yet to figure out how to balance weight in skates that don't make my feet ache like mad 15 minutes into the lesson. So if you know a trick, send it my way.


Can we just talk about how exciting it is to be DONE WITH JANUARY?!
Seriously, this was the longest January of my life.

I have more announcements about changes coming for Spring, that I can hopefully tell you about soon. (I'm the worst at keeping good news secret.)


February 1st is St. Brigid's Day! So have a good Irish beer (or at the very least, an amber ale) today. Ya know, for #liturgicalliving.

Perhaps I've Been "Mama"ed Out

Thursday, January 24, 2019

It's an odd world I inhabit. A world suspended between that of adults and children, workforce and home front, religious and secular. Sometimes it seems like a parallel universe - population 1.
But I can't be alone in straddling these social lines. The idea of being an engaged community member, worker, and friend, while also being a parent and spouse, is not a rare one.

So why does it feel so lonely? Why are so many of us convinced that we are alone in our experience and struggles?

I think it comes down to this: the language we use to speak to, and of, other women, and the simplistic way we think of ourselves and others.

We have "mama"ed ourselves into a hole

There's a right way to be a mother. Or at least there is a little scrap of rules for what a good mother should look like and do in many minds. It normally reads something along the lines of "makes the same choices I have made" irregardless if that is a reasonable expectation.

I saw this in what could only be called "pearl clutching" by some mothers over the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
I assumed the hoopla would be over the language and sexual jokes.
But no, that would be your run of the mill pearl clutching, this was a new level.
They were upset that the lead character agrees to go on tour without a pre-laid plan for her children. In fact, every night she spent out pursing comedy as a career might as well have been a personal affront to mothers everywhere. They interpreted another woman's choices, a fictional character mind you, as a method to "make fun of people who value raising children."

No matter that this was an entirely different time and place, or, ya know, fiction. There are rules and standards for what it means to be a good mother, and they just so happen to line up with my own choices, huzzah!

Because we are mama tribe! Mamas unite! Mamas-who-look-and-think-and-do-like-me-because-we-are-the-saviors-of-all!

Y'all, we can't do this and then turn around and complain about burnout and isolation. 

I can't even count how many times I have seen women exclude other women or persist in continuing unhealthy situations. I then watch those same women post sunshine and rainbows, of said situation, on social media. #blessed

This is perhaps one of the few times I think the academic phrase "complicit in their own oppression" is an accurate descriptor.
Women are the ones who have hurled  the most vitriol at me - a stranger on the internet. Women are the ones who have refused to cast me because I'm a mother. Women have made cliques and iced me out of groups I started. Yes, there are bigger factors in all of this, but I don't think they would have as much control if women would stop consenting to be weapons against other women. If women would stop weaponizing against themselves.

The truth is for every possibility automatically eliminated as a potential for another woman leaves another possibility eliminated for herself. Not out of necessity, but out of an oversimplified idea of who she is and who she can be.

There a flatness to this "mama" world. Where we call strangers on the internet "mama" as some form of false unearned intimacy. Where talk of "my mama heart" takes the place of having normal human empathy.
We miss the multi-dimensional whole person that is so desperately desired when discussing children. Children are whole persons. They get to have hopes, dreams, and aspirations. They can to be living, growing, people. Why can't their mothers?

Time to take up some space!

This isn't about being abrasive or confrontational.
It's about not apologizing for being a human being with gifts and wholeness and possibilities!
It's about seeing yourself as a person of worth that is not defined by how well your parenting choices line up with the current fads.

Don't be afraid to wear multiple hats. Sometimes I'm a mom of three at home and up to my eyeballs in constant laundry, books, and cooking. Sometimes I'm a young woman out with friends or attending a talk or performance. I can discuss books, current events, and ideas just as well as I can cooking and parenting.

I'm not doing this to check all the boxes so I can claim "not just a mom". I'm doing this because this is what it means to be honest about who I am: body, heart, mind, and soul.

I long to see more honesty from other women. I long to be more honest myself.


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What are your thoughts on "mama"isms? How we encourage more multi-dimensional living among parents of young children? What did I leave out here?

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