6 ways to avoid body shame in kids: Body positivity for families

“Look at how big my belly is!” Peeper exclaimed. Never has anyone in the history of the planet uttered these words with such joy. As I cheered for her (“Yay, your belly is so big!”), it struck me that her innocent celebration of her body managed to avoid body shame.

I want to protect her body positivity as long as I can. I want to raise both my girls to be confident. I want to continue to avoid body shame in my kids.

How to teach kids to love their bodies, grow a positive self image and avoid body shame. Read more

Sexual assault isn’t funny—and it shouldn’t sell t-shirts

Over the weekend on Facebook, I saw a photo that made me furious. It showed the storefront of a local Spencer’s store, which included a display of Trump t-shirts. One in particular—pretty sure you can guess which one—was so offensive that went on the offensive.

I tweeted, talked and shared with anyone who would listen or read the following message:

Sexual assault isn’t funny, and using it to sell a t-shirt is disgusting.

Sexual assault isn't funny. Calling out sexism and rape culture is our duty as citizens. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

How to raise strong women: Guest post

“I challenge assumptions about women. I do make some people uncomfortable, which I’m well aware of, but that’s just part of coming to grips with what I believe is still one of the most important pieces of unfinished business in human history—empowering women to be able to stand up for themselves.”

-Hillary Clinton

How to raise strong women and independent girls with confidence. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

A few months ago, a woman lost the presidential election. We all know who this woman is and we’re all well aware of what a grand disappointment and sorrow her losing has brought upon millions of Americans, both locals and expats. This is yet another reason why we need to raise strong women.

We’ve all trusted a change was about to happen; we thought for a second our daughters will have someone other than us, their mothers, to learn from. We hoped a woman was going to be heard.

Winning the election would have been more than just a democracy refreshed; it would’ve been a beacon of hope for all the young women out there, all the brilliant, ambitious, yet to be accomplished young girls who are at the beginning (or at the peak) of their professional lives. This was supposed to be a change, a milestone so grand that everything would’ve gotten a different flavor.

In her emotional post-election speech, Hillary spoke about many things, addressing one aspect in particular: “…and to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” Thank you.

With a bitter taste in our mouths but refusing to surrender, we will raise strong women. With us as their teachers, our daughters will learn (and understand) the following: Read more

Love your postpartum body: My beautiful linea nigra

How I loved my linea nigra and postpartum body. New moms, find a positive body image! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

New mothers find plenty of things to dislike about their bodies after delivery: lopsided boobs, stretch marks, a perma-pooch. Tabloids in the check out aisle highlight celebrities who managed to LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT IN 5 WEEKS! (and shame the women who take longer—not that it’s anyone’s business). Despite these changes, I managed to love my postpartum body and find a positive body image—by appreciating my linea nigra. Read more

Ignore your phone, give water

A handful of women stepped into an ankle-deep pond. They bent at the waist to dip metal tubs into the water. They made shallow passes with the containers, trying to avoid the worst of the sediment.

They were collecting water to drink, cook and bathe with from the only free source within walking distance. The pond, though, was close to drying up during the lull before the rainy season, and sometimes the women got sick from drinking the untreated water.

Women near Gushegu, Ghana collect water from a pond thirty minutes away from their camp. Credit: Catherine Ryan Gregory
Women near Gushegu, Ghana collect water from a pond thirty minutes away from their camp. Credit: Catherine Ryan Gregory

I walked back to their camp with these women in Ghana as they balanced the metal containers—heavy enough that I’d have trouble lifting them, let alone setting them on my head. They didn’t complain; they at least had something to drink.

Women in Northern Ghana carry the responsibility of fetching water for household chores. Credit: Catherine Ryan Gregory
Women in Northern Ghana carry the responsibility of fetching water for household chores. Credit: Catherine Ryan Gregory

A pump with much cleaner water was several hundred yards away, but a man stood guard to collect money from anyone who used it. These women had no money, so they made do with the silty pond.

Many of us in the Global North take water for granted. We don’t think of our good fortune when we take a sip, wash the dishes or flush the toilet. Yet 768 million people worldwide don’t have access to safe and clean water, according to UNICEF.

UNICEF is now running a program to help bring clean water to more people in need through its Tap Project. And we can help—by giving up something that is a luxury, we can provide a life-giving necessity.

Read more