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My Response: When I Became a Mother, Patriarchy Let Me Down

This post is in response to the Huff Post article “When I became a mother, feminism let me down” by Samantha Johnson. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/samantha-johnson/when-i-became-a-mother-feminism-let-me-down/

We are functioning in a society that pretends that men aren’t going to grow up to be fathers.

Patriarchy denies that caring and connection with other people are vital for the well-being of humanity, including men.

Making the Transition From Mom to Grandma: Studio 5

Everyone gushes about how being a grandma is the best thing ever…and honestly, I was skeptical. But…it IS the best. It’s like parenting, but only the good parts of parenting–the love, the joy, the snuggles. Grandparent is like parenting, but without the work, stress & expectations. It’s only love & joy. My friends at KSL’s Studio 5 invited me to show off baby pictures and gush about Kate, and to share some professional advice and tips I’ve learned in becoming a grandma.

Love & Gender Equality at Home: Sunstone Symposium Audio

Listen to Dr. Julie Hanks’ Sunstone presentation. Early relationship patterns lay the framework for our identity development, social interactions, and assumptions about others. If gender equality is to be achieved within Mormon culture and theology, it must first be modeled in family relationships. Cultural Transformation Theory provides a framework for moving from a domination model that values “masculine” over “feminine” to a partnership model where relationships are based on connection and equality.

Assertiveness Guide for Women Book Review on NewSocialWorker.com

Assertiveness Guide for Women

Based on both clinical wisdom from working with women and from her own experiences, Dr. de Azevedo Hanks invites women to embark on a journey to create a stronger sense of clarity, confidence, connection, and compassion by increasing their assertiveness in the areas of their lives that matter most. This book is useful to any woman who desires to increase her assertiveness and is a good tool for clinicians to use when addressing issues of connection, gender, attachment, and assertiveness. This wonderful guide is highly recommended for anyone who wants to be more assertive.

Reviewed by Beth Russell, Ph.D., LCSW, Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work, The College at Brockport for New Social Worker

Read the entire book review here

Download free book chapter of The Assertiveness Guide for Women

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When Your Holidays Aren’t Merry: Mom Show on KSL Radio

The pressure to be cheerful and happy during the holidays can be particularly hard for people dealing with grief and loss: the death of a loved one, your first Christmas since being divorced, job loss, or just the passage of time. Lindsay Aerts, host of The Mom Show on KSL Radio, and I sat down to talk about how to manage painful feelings during a time when you’re “supposed” to be merry.

Our Definition of “Good Mothering” is Bad For Mental Health

Preparing to be a “good mother” is emphasized in Primary, Young Women’s, and continues as a central thread woven throughout Relief Society lessons and discussions. Unfortunately, it turns out that many of our beliefs about “good mothering” are correlated with poor maternal mental health. When I first read findings from a study published in The Journal of Child and Family Studies that suggest that five specific beliefs about mothering–essentialism, fulfillment, stimulation, challenging, and child-centered–are correlated with poorer mental health among mothers with young children, I thought to myself, “These beliefs align with how we, in America, and in LDS culture define good mothering!”

Case Studies for Parenting Young Adults: Marriott Alumni Magazine

Do you have an adult child and sometimes struggle to know how to have proper boundaries in your relationship? You’re not alone! When our kids are little, it’s appropriate for us to tell them to brush their teeth and eat their vegetables, but when they grow up and have their own identities, it’s easy to get confused about how much input we should give into their lives. For example, should we be giving them advice on their jobs, their finances, and their dating lives? Of course we shouldn’t be helicopter parents to a man or woman in their 30s, but what if they’re really struggling and need some direction?

I shared my thoughts on this topic in a new Marriott Alumni magazine article written by Holly Munson. Here’s a summary of common scenarios parents face with adult children and my take on how to best handle them:

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From Roles to Stewardship: Reframing Mormon Gender Roles

Over the past several months, I’ve noticed that in LDS circles, we often use the term “role” in reference to gender. From official talks over the pulpit, to blog posts, to casual conversations, it seems we’re always hearing about “gender roles”: role of men and women, role of mothers and fathers. The more I’ve noticed its use, the more uneasy I feel when I hear the word “role. ”

Assertive Parenting: How to Stay Strong and Calm

Do you struggle to hold firm boundaries with your kids? These 3 tips for assertive parenting may help. It just posted on my publisher New Harbinger’s  website:

“Assertiveness is a topic that I care deeply about. As a clinical therapist of over twenty years, I love to help women find and use their voice to clearly express themselves in a way that strengthens their connections with others and gets their own needs met. While assertiveness may seem more relevant to adult relationships, it also has great application in how we raise and interact with our children. Here are three ways to practice assertiveness in parenting…”

(Click here or on post title above to read the full article)

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Assertive and Authentic Communication After Faith Transition: Debrief Society Podcast

If you’re struggling to communicate authentically and assertively with loved ones about changes in your faith or religious participation you might enjoy this new Debrief Society podcast interview. Becca and I discuss my new book The Assertiveness Guide for Women and how how questioning your faith or leaving the religious tradition of your family of origin can indicate movement toward a higher level differentiation of self (the ability to be an individual while staying connected to loved ones). We also cover cultural barriers to assertive communication (for LDS women in particular), how to deal with the silent treatment once you’ve talked to family members about your faith