Feminism has kind of been a dirty word in our society. I know a lot of us have been misinformed or hurt by this word or some of the ideology behind this word, but I have learned so much over the past few years about feminism and about God’s heart and purpose for women.
And I have wanted to talk about this for many months now, but it’s such a big and careful conversation to have. So, I asked my friend and author, Kara-Kae James to join me in a discussion about feminism, what it is, and the stigma surrounding this word. I can’t wait for you to hear it! Let’s dive in!
In This Episode Allie and Kara-Kae Discuss:
What feminism is by definition
The stigma surrounding feminism
How to raise daughters and sons to be feminists
Sharing your voice & story with the world
How to be a feminist in the day-to-day
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hello, all you beautiful women! This episode is absolutely for you! All of the episodes are technically for you, but this one is really, really for you. I’m so excited to have this conversation and to shine a light on this topic.
Feminism has been kind of a dirty word and associated with a lot of bad, negative things in my life as I was a young girl in the Christian circle growing up. I have learned so much over the past few years about feminism, what God’s heart for feminism really is, God’s heart for women, and what we were created to be. And I’m really, really looking forward to you hearing this conversation.
My guest today is Kara-Kae James. She is a writer and an encourager. She’s super passionate about seeing women’s lives changed. She is a world-shaker-upper. That’s not in the intro; I’m adding that because she just is. She’s the founder and executive director of Thrive Moms. You may have heard of them. They’re doing some really cool things. They are basically a ministry that helps moms step out of survival mode and really thrive in the abundant life that God calls them to. Sound familiar? We’re kind of aligned.
Kara-Kae is also the author of the book Mom UP. It’s an amazing read and I highly suggest you get it. I will link to it in the show notes. She’s also the coauthor of the Thrive Mom’s Bible studies: Abundance, Freedom and Rest. She is married to her husband, Brooke, and she’s a mom of four kids: three girls and a boy. So, the opposite of me. I have a girl and three boys. Also Kara-Kae just launched an amazing podcast that she co-hosts called Asking For A Friend. It’s basically hard topics that women are maybe a little bit afraid to talk about but need to talk about. It’s really great. I encourage you to listen to that as well. We will link to that in the show notes, too.
Please welcome Kara-Kae. I encourage you to listen to this full conversation and come in with an open mind. Especially if you have been hurt at all by other women or the idea of feminism. Or if the word has felt dirty to you in the past. Or you’re just curious about this. I’m really excited to have this conversation with you guys today.
ALLIE: Okay, so we’re just going to jump right in. Like I said before we recorded, I’ve been wanting to have this conversation for months. It’s a feeling that’s heavy on me and I know that I want to do something. I need to do something, but I needed to think about how and when, and making sure that my voice is coming across as gracious.
KARA-KAE: Yes. That’s a good word.
ALLIE: Not my strength. I just want to talk about feminism with you. I think that you would probably agree with me that we should start at what feminism actually is by definition, maybe?
ALLIE: I think it gets blown out of proportion. People think that it’s the hatred of men, the putting down of men, or the rising up of women no matter the cost. That’s one thing that I see a lot. So, can you talk about that a little bit?
KARA-KAE: Yeah, I agree. I think I grew up thinking the same thing. Maybe until not too long ago, I thought that if I was looking at myself as a feminist or seeing other women who call themselves feminists, that they were man-haters. It was that idea in my mind of, “Oh, they’re burning their bras, they’re doing this thing and it’s just this weird thing.” And I was like, “But I want to wear a bra and I want to be on this equal playing field with my husband. ” And I eventually realized that’s exactly what feminism is.
It’s just about creating equal spaces for men and women. Once I started really having conversations, I learned this more from some men in my life who lifted me up. Especially my husband who really showed me what it meant to walk in the gifts that God gave me and really understand, “Oh, I am talented in these ways. I don’t just have to be a mom and a housewife.” He jokes all the time with me about those things because I think, “Oh, well, I’m just a mom. I’m just a housewife. I don’t have the capabilities of doing things that men do.” And so many times our society has put that on us as women—that we aren’t able to do those things. But feminism is just really about creating spaces for women to have the same opportunities as men. It’s not about negativity toward men or women. It’s just equal opportunity.
ALLIE: Right. It’s also not about not being a homemaker.
KARA-KAE: Yes, exactly.
ALLIE: It’s about choosing to, rather than feeling that that’s all you can do. Or that is the choice made for you.
I’ve loved you for a long time and read your book, but I saw you talking about this on Instagram so well. And I think what really drew me in is that you said that you kind of learned about feminism from the men in your life. And the same happened with me.
Our pastor and my husband were the ones that really helped me understand. I felt a lot of shame around starting my company and doing well. I started doing well and I was like, “Oh shoot, am I doing something wrong?”
KARA-KAE: “I’m not supposed to be successful.”
ALLIE: Yes. And so, my husband was really feminist before me and just like, “Why would you feel like that? That’s ridiculous.” I was raised in a private Christian school. My mom worked, my parents ran a business together, and so I don’t really know why that didn’t sink into me.
KARA-KAE: Same. I grew up with a working mom too and so I don’t know why that…
ALLIE: For you, was it more in the church? I went to a private Christian school and so it was there that I got my message about feminism.
KARA-KAE: Yeah, I don’t really know where mine came from. I grew up in a really small town, small church and I went to public school. But I don’t know, I just probably put that on myself that this is how I’m supposed to be. We just heard that and thought, “well….”
I think when I went to college I had big dreams and goals of what I wanted to do, but so many of my friends were going to be teachers. And they wanted to be stay-at-home moms and they wanted to do these things. And I kept saying, “I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to stay home. I’m not even really focused on having kids. I want to work.” I was really focused on building a career. I wanted to write books. I wanted to do all these things, but I kind of felt like I was doing the wrong thing when I wanted to focus on building a career.
I think a lot of it maybe even came from the women in my life who were very focused on, not that they were doing anything wrong, but they were focused on the family side of things. And that was just their goal: having kids, staying at home and doing that. And I thought, “well this is the only thing I can do as a woman…get married, have kids, stay home and do whatever my husband tells me to do” I guess I thought that was the picture of being a woman, a grown woman.
ALLIE: Especially in the Christian circle is where I experienced it. Especially there. I think so much, and probably for you, especially, it comes from the way other women talk. Not just about their choices, but talk about other women’s choices. I was a stay-at-home mom at first. My time as a stay-at-home mother still wins out the time that I’ve been a working mother. It was seven years, I think, of stay-at-home motherhood and I would hear things like, “Good for you, good for your kids. Oh, you’re so lucky that your husband works so that you can stay home.” And I’m thinking, “We are broke as a joke. There doesn’t seem to be any luck here.”
I mean we had felt good about that choice. I wasn’t feeling like, “Oh my gosh, I’m miserable.” It was just where I was at that time in my life. But I remember thinking in a confused way, I guess, or as a really young woman (because I started my family so young), taking in those words like, “Okay staying home seems to equal, ‘I’m doing a good job.’”
And then when I switched roles I didn’t get those comments anymore. I never, ever, still ever, get comments like, “Good for you! Good for your kids to see that you’re working.” No one ever says that to me. Online when I talk about this, I’ll get messages like that, but in real life, from other women, I’ve never gotten a comment like that.
I think a lot of it just comes from these assumptions that we put on ourselves from messages other women are saying when they ask those boring surface questions when they’re getting to know you.
KARA-KAE: I see that for sure.
ALLIE: I wanted to go over with you some of the main myths about feminism. We touched on some of them, but I really feel like this is something that I want to blow up, open up, and talk about. There’s two that I had on my mind that we already touched on, but I wanted to dive deeper.
First is the myth that you can’t be a feminist or that the word equals this type of woman, who is like growing out their armpit hair, burning their bras, passing on the use of menstrual cleanliness products. I remember there was this woman years ago and she ran a marathon on her period and didn’t wear a tampon. It was like a pride thing. She was like, “I don’t need to be clean for your benefit.” And then I remember—I don’t know who it was, but a woman in my life—I remember this person that I respected saying, “That is why we’re not feminist. It’s embarrassing. They’re just ruining everything and it’s so disturbing.” And talking really negatively saying, “That is what feminism is and that is awful.” And I was like, “That is a little disturbing to me. I’m not gonna lie.”
KARA-KAE: Yeah, that is a little odd.
ALLIE: So, what do you think of just that myth of like this is what feminism is? Which, there’s extremes of everything. There are extreme Christians. There are extreme Muslims. There’s extreme everything. So, I would just like to hear from you on that myth.
KARA-KAE: Yeah, I agree there is extremes and it’s hard for us to say, “Well here’s the right way to do this,” because it’s going to look different for every person. It will look different for me than it does for you, than it does for the next person.
What feminism means for me…it might look a little bit different for us because what we do is a little bit different. And the way we’re supported in our lives is a little bit different. And so, it is hard for us to say, “Here’s the standard.”
I think that is the challenge there because we want to set the standard. And I think we want to do that in everything whether it’s politics, the church, or schools. There’s so many things we want to say, “Well here’s the right way to do this. And if you’re doing it this way, you’re on this side; if you’re doing it this way, you’re on this side.”
I think, especially for women, I think it’s so important for us to realize we’re on the same team with this and not be fighting against each other, but really listen to each other and listen to each other’s stories. And yeah, sure, somebody may be kind of gross to us in the way they show their true self or their feminist nature, and we might not understand it, but if we can listen and learn from them, it might open our eyes to something really new that we might be able to learn from and walk in a little bit. That’s why it’s important for all of us to share our stories in some way, whether it’s on a platform like this, or just with our neighbors, or a friend. Open those lines of communication and say, “Here’s how I feel. I just need a place to talk about these things, to be open, to be honest, and be who I really am.”
I’ve always struggled with that because I’m afraid if I am honest about who I am and how I feel about these issues, people will think, “Oh no, here comes this crazy person. She’s the crazy extreme. She’s a feminist,” and then they close off immediately.
And so, I think having these conversations are so important because we can start making this word that has become taboo a little bit less taboo. As I’ve started to talk about it more, I get messages from women online that say, “I can’t believe you’re using this word. That’s such a negative, bad word to use.” And I just ask them, “Explain to me, explain to me why it’s so negative.” And usually they’ve had a negative impact from it. You know, something in their life, in their own story, has negatively impacted them.
And so really just shining some positive light on it and having open communication with other women can make a huge difference and make it not so crazy anymore.
ALLIE: Yeah. I really like what you said too about listening to the stories behind people’s extreme opinions because I bet you if we had that woman here who ran the marathon, there’s something in her life that happened that she felt liberated to be so extreme. And what is so judged by other people and seemingly gross to others, she could have felt like he was on Cloud 9, just so liberated and set free from shame or assault or something that happened to her. I think that is a perspective that we need everywhere for every issue—not just this one.
Going back to the other myth being feminism is the hatred of men, or I think it’s not even so much always the hatred of men, but so often it’s the aggression toward men out of defense, if that makes sense. It’s this putting up a wall where anything that a man says you’re like, “Well what does that mean? I can do that.” I just feel like there’s so much of that out there.
And like I said, my husband was really a feminist before me. I don’t think he slapped that label on it, but he just really questioned, “The God that I serve would never create you to be good at these things and then be like, ‘Whoa! Too far! Too much success!’”
KARA-KAE: “You need to stay in your box.”
ALLIE: Exactly. Yeah. I love that. And I think that men get a bad reputation. I see it. I see the reason for feminism out there all the time. I travel for work. I was just having a conversation with my husband last night because I just got home from a few days at a hotel in San Diego and there was this conversation happening with two men near me that I won’t get into, but I purposely just let myself listen so that I could understand their perspective and I never really did. I walked away just like, “Wow, they’re the worst.”
But basically, just speaking about women, like they are nothing, like they were objects put here for their use. And it was so discouraging. And I just want to hear from you about feminism and men. We’re both raising boys, so say whatever comes to mind with all of those things.
KARA-KAE: Yeah. That is a huge point is we’re raising men. I had three girls and then finally got my boy and thought, “Oh no, I’m in trouble now.” I could figure out the girl thing because I’m a woman. I could figure out how to raise little girls. But then I had a boy and it was like, “Oh gosh, this is a whole new world. I have to raise this little man to respect women, to treat them right, to see them in a new way. I want him to grow up to be a feminist just like his dad is.” That’s really important to me because I don’t want him to be one of those men sitting at a table someday objectifying women.
And it’s heartbreaking that there are people in our society that truly believe that there is this line between men and women and that women can’t do certain things. It’s so challenging to break down some of those lines. I think a lot of it is the same thing of communication and really rallying some of these men around us.
My husband and I, we are raising a black son. He’s adopted. We read a lot of books. We’re learning a lot about his culture when he’s being raised in a white home. I know people can’t see me right now, but I’m a white woman. And so that is a little bit of a challenge for us. It’s really intentional for us to make sure he knows all about his culture and to surround him with other people that look like him. And I think the same thing goes for this type of thing. I think it’s important for men to be surrounded by other men who get it.
A lot of times I’ll be talking with some of my black women friends who are trying, are working so diligently to teach about justice and race, and sometimes there are white women that just don’t get it. And they will say, “It’s up to us as white people to do the educating here.” And I think this is one of those same situations where our husbands who are feminists can step in and say to their friends, to these other men, “This is what this means,” because they’re not going to listen to us as women, but they’ll listen to the man. And so, it kind of helps break down those lines of communication.
And when men will step up and talk about these topics it is really important. And I’ve seen some men do it and it’s so encouraging to see them uplift women, support them and show what they can truly do. And not just in a, “Yeah, she’s great. Go buy her book,” or “Yeah, she’s great, do this,” but really champion them. Walk alongside them, give them jobs, put them in positions of leadership and give them a voice.
ALLIE: With the same titles as the men are getting in the same position.
KARA-KAE: Exactly. We’re seeing it in Hollywood. We’re seeing it in the corporate world. We’re seeing that in the media right now. All of these things are happening. And I think it needs to happen more in our communities, too. Because most of us are not in that world, but most of us are just in our communities. We might be fighting the middle school principal who is a man and won’t have a conversation with us because we are a woman and he’ll only talk to our husband. We may be dealing with those little situations and we’re fighting against the system of feeling like we can’t break through this barrier between feeling like we are not important and we are not seen as women.
Alright, my gorgeous, gorgeous friend. Pause for a second. I want to ask you a gut-check question. Check in with yo’self. Is the holiday season this year making you feel that dropped-stomach-stress, anxious feeling in any way, shape or form?
Do you feel like this season is total magic and it’s joy-filled? And you are going to be not stressed about your budget? Not stressed about decorating your house and having people over? Seeing your family? Seeing all your relatives and having those conversations? Buying gifts for the people that you love and receiving gifts from the people that you love?
Your traditions with your family – Are they life-giving? Are they filling you up? Are you really excited about the whole process?
What about when the holidays are over? Do you feel like, “Oh thank goodness! I want to get this crap out of here?” Or are you feeling like that was a really sweet time?
Gut check with yo’self because this time of year is a big deal. The holidays take up a decent amount of our year and there is absolutely no excuse for feeling like you are completely overwhelmed and totally stressed out.
I have a short video course that will help you get intentional, simplify and pursue less in the holiday season by teaching you how to create sort of like a mission statement for the holiday season.
It’s really about setting the intent. Deciding before you get too deep into it. What do I want this to feel like? What are my goals here with my family? How do you decorate minimally without totally overdoing it and making your house feel like a clutter festival? How do you transition your family to a simpler Christmas and holiday season when you’ve previously totally blown it out of proportion and gone way overboard?
What about traditions? How do you check in and decide, “This tradition has always happened but it’s really not serving us anymore. It’s really not fun.” How do we make new traditions that are life giving, helpful, and fun for everyone?
How do you deal with buying gifts with your budget and a minimalist mindset? And what about receiving gifts from other people? You can’t really control that. Is this totally going to undo minimalism for you just because it’s the holiday season? There are so many things about choosing joy and simplifying.
I have this super short, super cheap video course that I want to get you into. It’s called Your Happiest Holidays. It was previously known as a Merry Little Christmas. You might have previously known it as that, but we’ve changed it because it’s covering all the holidays, not just Christmas.
I really invite you in. If you are ever, in your entire life, going to need a little help simplifying this time of year, please enroll in this program. It’s so cheap. It’s small. It’s powerful. It packs a punch and it’s going to help you.
You never know when there’s going to be a year that the holiday season is making you feel more like “Ugh” instead of so excited and ready for it.
Alliecasazza.com/holidays. Go there. Let’s get you simplified.
ALLIE: Okay, so something that you said in one of your Instagram posts was that “women have a voice and if you are a woman, that does not mean that you have to basically sit down and shut up and stay shut up.” I think I know where you’re going to go with it, but can you just talk about that and why is that even needing to be said? Why do people think that and where does it come from?
I was hearing from Hillary Rushford, I don’t know if you know who she is, but she was saying, “At first I didn’t get the ‘babes support babes thing,’” it’s kinda like “duh!” But then she started to see, “Oh, not everybody…babes support babes.” It’s not “duh” at all. And I feel like that is one of those statements. “If you are a woman, it does not mean you have to sit down and shut up.” That is so like “duh.” Where does it come from and why do people think that would need to even be said to them?
KARA-KAE: Yeah. I think that so many women feel like they don’t have a voice or that their opinions matter. I even find this happening with me. My husband is a pastor at our church and he will be having a conversation with some other men around him and I will notice that I just get silent. And it’s really interesting because I’m a very outspoken, strong woman and not that I can’t contribute to a conversation, but I always find myself getting silent. It’s just this subconscious thing that I feel like I am not welcome in this conversation. And when there is a lot of men talking, I feel like, “Oh, they’re going to look at me like I’m crazy if I provide anything into this conversation.” I think that we just always feel that way as women, even if we’re in a conversation with women. I think sometimes there’s so many women that feel like, “Well, they already have something to say; I don’t have anything to say.”
I think this goes for if we’re sitting in a room talking to people. You and I both put content out into the world and I think it goes for that too. We see somebody else put content out there that’s maybe similar to ours and we think, “Well we don’t have a voice because they already said it. It’s already been done.” But I think we all can bring something to the table and we can have a seat here and say something differently that might reach somebody in a different way, that might impact somebody. You could literally say the exact same thing that I say and say it two words differently and you could change somebody’s life. And the way I said it could just go right over their head.
I think that all of our voices really need to be heard. And if we have these things in us, we don’t need to just sit down and keep them in us. No matter what it is: if it’s a big deal or a small thing. We don’t have to feel like we always just have to shut up and not contribute to conversations or whatever it may be that we feel called to.
ALLIE: Yeah. I love that you mentioned that it happens with women too, in women’s circles. Even in the stay-at-home motherhood, I just always really liked to learn about marketing and I really liked to learn about business. Looking back with hindsight, I was always an entrepreneur and always trying to make money. And so, I would be there and I’d be with these women in stay-at-home mom situations, like a play date at the park when my kids were really little and things like that, and the conversations always kind of go the same. Breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, weaning, which sippy cup doesn’t leak, which is the best sippy cup and all of these things and it’s fine, but I would remember always feeling “out” like, “I don’t even think about those things. Am I a bad mom? I don’t even care. I got the one that was the cheapest and then went to the book section and picked up Jen Sincero’s new book.”
I think that what I want people listening to understand from what you’re saying is, it’s also in our own head. If you find yourself in a conversation with men where you feel that natural, “Oh, I pulled back. I just don’t belong here,” which is sometimes not your fault. Sometimes they’ll turn the conversation to something that they wouldn’t if they valued you.
KARA-KAE: Absolutely! It does happen.
ALLIE: It does happen for real, but sometimes it’s just us and it’s just in our heads. Going back to that version of Allie, like at the park with those conversations, I would immediately feel shame. Like I must be a bad mom. I must be worse than they are because I didn’t even know there were better brands of sippy cups. I don’t spend my time thinking that. Instead, realizing this is not where my mind naturally goes, but it is where their’s go, and how can I ask questions, use what they’re saying to get value, or to help myself be better at this part of motherhood because I don’t even think about it.
I remember a conversation with this mom talking about her kids not drinking out of plastic. And I was at a point in my life where like, “Look, they’re happy that there’s even water. We’re so broke, I don’t care.” But actually, now I have learned so much from her saying that, reading and figuring out for myself, and now I really try as best as I can to have Mason jars instead of plastic cups. And it’s so cool that she mentioned something. And at first I started to feel shame, like I must be a terrible mom, but actually she sparked an idea in me and that is something small we can do to help the environment and help our kids live healthier.
So, I think it’s just sometimes in us and we have to gut-check ourselves. Am I putting myself out of this conversation and feeling bad for myself? Like “Oh, they’re not including me,” or, “I’m bad at this and I’ll just let them.” Or can we insert ourselves? Can we do that for ourselves? And just asking that question.
I really like giving action steps or examples whenever I can. And when I’m talking about something like this, it’s a little more difficult, but I would just love to hear, maybe we can both kind of share, what does feminism look like lived out, day-to-day, in your home with your family? Is there anything that you could share or give the women listening to maybe have a different perspective? Or just give an example of what it looks like for you to help them go out and do something different.
KARA-KAE: So day-to-day lived out…I think for me in my house, which it’s going to look different I think for everybody because like we said, our husbands are both feminists. We are both very lucky in that. There may be a single mom listening that’s like, “Okay, well I’m on my own in this, how do I do it?” So, it may look different for each person, but for me, we make our jobs equal in our house.
My kids see that and I think it’s really important for my kids to see that my husband and I are on the same team. We’re on the same page. We both work, but I do more of the kids’ stuff just because my job is flexible and that just is more natural. But he still does a lot with the kids and so we still try to make it to where we’re a team and it’s not, “Well, he works, so he comes home…” I always think about the 1950s housewife thing of you have to have dinner on the table, he comes in the door, goes to his recliner, and has to have his drink a certain way or whatever. I think about those things and I’m so grateful that that’s not the stigma anymore because I rarely have dinner ready by 5:30 and at 5:30 I’m usually going, “Oh no! People around here want to eat food!” I’m just not great at that. But my husband will step in and say, “Okay, well let me run and pick something up, or let me grab the oldest kids and we’ll make something together,” or something, you know?
It can be little things in day-to-day life. I think it’s really important for us to show our kids that mom isn’t just this person that does all the things. She’s not a pushover. She’s not, you know, whatever. Because I do work, I try to show my kids my work time is important, what I do is important, and bring them along in that so that they can see how important it is for me to do the things that I’ve dreamed about my entire life. And that it’s great for them to have dreams too. If they want to grow up and stay home with their kids and their kids be their #1 job and them not work for 10 years, that’s great too. I want them to see those things, that there is value in doing all of those things.
I think a lot of it is just really being on the same page with your spouse, making sure you’re walking that out every day. And then practicing some of those things like we were talking about with communication, just trying to step out of your comfort zone a little bit and having conversations that might be a little challenging. If you have someone that does talk down to you maybe have a hard conversation and just make yourself available. Make yourself presentable to them, that you can show them, “I am here. I can have the same conversation with you that you can have with anyone else.”
It doesn’t have to be a confrontation, but sometimes we get quiet, shy, or scared of someone in authority, whether it’s, like I mentioned, a principal or something like that. If we have to have a conversation with them, sometimes we get a little, “Oh, I don’t want to. I don’t want to deal with that situation.” But if we can just sometimes step out of our comfort zone a little bit and just say, “Hey, I can do this. I am a strong, capable woman. I can have this conversation,” and just go for it.
ALLIE: Yeah. I think especially around certain things that women, not everyone, but women tend to struggle with certain topics. More like money, money management. There’s certain things…I mean when those things come up it’s hard, but I try to just own that weakness, work a little bit each day to change it, read a book about it, or listen to podcasts about it. That is such progress and our kids are seeing that.
And when my daughter gets to whatever age and she realizes that most women don’t understand how to do something, or a lot of women think a way about something, that she will look back and see like, “Oh, my mom didn’t do that. I didn’t realize that that wasn’t normal or that was different.” That is the best we can hope for, you know? We’re not going to change everything and make it all perfect.
I think we’re just here to show our kids that you can do what you want and you don’t have limits unless you put them on yourself.
KARA-KAE: And I think it’s good for kids to see us struggle in different ways. My kids know that I’m bad at math and they tell all their teachers. They think it’s funny. They bring me their math homework and they laugh at me when I try to help them. But I think it’s good that they see that these things that are a struggle for me. There’s things that are not always going to be easy, but you want to bring me a writing assignment, I’ll sit down and I’ll knock that thing out with you because that’s fun for me. That has always been my passion.
They know that and they see that you don’t have to be great at everything, but you can put your heart and your passion into something that you love and work hard at that. You can be strong and you can still work hard at everything you do. I think it’s important that we show them that.
ALLIE: I think the other thing that I wanted to mention too is…I wrestled a lot with how to communicate this topic to my kids. I’m not really worried about my daughter. I was really more worried about my boys. I am not a boy, so how do I communicate this to them? And I think you’re right, it goes a lot through my husband and the other men that are in their lives.
But I just want to encourage you guys that are listening that if you’re feeling like, how do we do this though, like example action steps, one thing that I’ve been doing is looking for opportunities for conversations. Recently we were driving in the car and our thing as a family is we always listen to music almost at full volume when we are driving, roll the windows down, all the time, we always have music on. My kids just love music. We were listening to something secular, it was just like a regular playlist, and this song came on and we didn’t finish listening to the song, but the jist of the lyrics was this girl singing about you can treat me however you want. I’ll just take whatever you give me because I’m so obsessed with you. And it’s okay if you make fun of me in front of your friends and make me feel like crap, I’ll just cling to whatever you’ve got. I turned it off.
At first I was like, “I’m just going to change the song.” But then I was like, “No. I’m looking for opportunities to have conversations, even if they’re like, “Here goes mom again with one of her mid-music lectures.” But I just turned it off and I had a conversation with the kids. Only my oldest three were in there, so it was perfect. I just explained where this girl was coming from and where her value really lies. And from the men’s perspective, he is using her for himself, not considering how she feels and putting her down to make himself look better. That has gone on for a long time and it can’t anymore. We had this awesome conversation and they were all just kind of quiet and I had that mom feeling where I was like, “This did nothing.” But a few weeks later, my oldest boy, who’s about to be 9, mentioned it and asked me something about it. And it was like, “Oh, at least it got in there.”
And so, I think just having those conversations or looking for opportunities. You know, if your kids are sad that you’re going to work or something, it’s okay for them to feel that way. It’s okay for you to feel like, “Oh, this is hard.” Just talk to them about it. Have those conversations when you see a circumstance like that song.
I think that is really the best that we can do outside of just living out the example.
KARA-KAE: Yeah, I love that.
ALLIE: Well thank you for talking about this thing with me! It’s so big.
I’m really happy you came on and I’m really happy we talked about this. I am sure that I will get some messages that are not so happy, but I hope that I get a lot of messages that it helped somebody come out of a perspective that was put on them and to see the truth.
Kara-Kae and I are both Christians. Jesus valued women and that’s a whole other conversation, but this is that other way, that you’re not valued, that you can’t do what you want, that you have to be quiet, is not the truth.
And so, we just want encourage you to come out of that, ask questions, figure out what the truth is and what that looks like for you, your family and your relationships.
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I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!