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Frida Berrigan
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Frida Berrigan serves on the Board of the War Resisters League and is a columnist for Waging Nonviolence.

Entries by Frida Berrigan

That moment when your good parenting is finally rewarded

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 4:18 PM

As a parent, there aren't many moments where you get to step back, pat yourself on the back and say "well done."

Kids move too fast. They are learning behaviors, reactions and skills at such a lightning-fast rate that every "good job" seems to be paired with a "don't even...

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Beware the fear industrial complex

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 2:16 PM

Be Afraid. Be very afraid. That is the message to moms (and dads too, but they tend not to be as susceptible). Be afraid of strangers, as well as friends and family too. Be afraid of bugs and dirt outside, and snot and germs inside. Be afraid of...

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Operation Kid Freedom -- Making Our Communities Safe For Children to Take Risks

(0) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 9:40 PM

When I was little, I loved going to the library with my brother. It was in an old mansion across a street and up a steep hill about 200 yards from our house. We would set out on our own with our due-back books -- big kids on the way...

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What Is So Hard About Self-Care?

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 4:38 PM

I have been seeing a physical therapist for a few months to try to resolve some lingering birth-related issues -- of which I will spare you the gory, bulging, flaccid-muscled details. The weekly sessions are great, but the exercises are really hard to squeeze in (a little kegel humor there).

...
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Is It Okay to Take Serious Risks as a Parent If It's for the Greater Good?

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2014 | 2:18 PM

I had a baby on February 24. Actually, that is not true. I had the baby on February 24 -- the one I had waited for for an extra long time.

Even though she was more than a week late and I was hyper conscious of her every stirring and...

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Being a Stay-at-Home Mom in a World That Needs 24/7 Activists

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2014 | 2:39 PM

Frida Berrigan and her son Seamus. (WNV / Bil Hughes) Frida Berrigan and her son Seamus. (WNV / Bil Hughes)

When you are a stay-at-home mom, the world gets very small -- nursing and diapers, and then when that is mastered, adding in...

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Solidarity in Pregnancy

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2014 | 7:20 PM

The baby is doing more than kicking right now. She or he is rolling, rocking, doing flips, causing my whole massive midsection to seize and spasm. I can watch this fetus swim laps across my belly under my shirt. I'm two weeks away from my due date and it feels...

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Why I Keep Working to Close Guantánamo

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2014 | 4:56 PM

Frida Berrigan speaking at an anti-torture demonstration outside the White House in January 2010. (Facebook / Pax Christi)


I have a long trip ahead of me this weekend. It begins with the Shore Line East commuter train in Old Saybrook,...

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Christmas in Community

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 12:56 PM

When my brother, sister and I were young, we would celebrate Christmas every year in Syracuse, NY with my dad's older brother and his family. It was a six-hour drive, often in the snow. In the days before booster seats, car seats and seat belts, my brother and I would...

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Parents of the United States, Unite!

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 2:51 PM

I stood in front of the new books shelf at the Waterford Public Library in Connecticut. And two books jumped out at me: Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity and Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink.

They were not too far away from two other books...

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How Can We Reclaim the Holiday Season From Corporations?

(3) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 10:12 AM

Seamus is covered in peanut butter and dragging a cell phone charger around while he carries a box of tampons in the crook of his arm. Not exactly photo-finish perfect parenting, but okay. He is fully occupied for the moment, and nothing he is holding can do him harm, right?

...
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Are Sports the Great Equalizer?

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2013 | 3:40 PM

Seamus watched the Red Sox ride roughshod over the Cardinals on Wednesday night. He sat on his dad's lap at the bar down the street and was mesmerized by the little men swinging bats and wearing gloves.

He is a sports fan. A very small one -- at just 15...

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The Power of the Pregnant Body

(3) Comments | Posted October 19, 2013 | 5:04 PM

This morning I walked to the grocery store -- a two-mile round trip, pushing Seamus in the stroller and moving at a good clip. On the way home we were weighed down by a gallon of milk and other groceries. It was a lovely fall day, and he slept the...

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What Should Church Look Like?

(101) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 4:57 PM

There was a whisper behind us: "Those Berrigan kids don't know the rosary." Surprised, bemused, maybe a little scandalized -- the noises rippled softly through the funeral home's largest visitation room. I was in college. My mom's younger brother had died of lung cancer and we were there to pay...

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Parenting FAIL

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2013 | 2:46 PM

In these columns, I tend to focus on the joys, idiosyncrasies and contradictions of being a peace-loving, simplicity-seeking parent in a hyper-violent, hyper-sexualized (but still very prudish), consumerist society. I think I do a good job as a parent -- for the most part. But sometimes I fail....

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How Children and the Elderly Enrich Each Other's Lives

(2) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 6:21 PM

Seamus and Uncle Dan (WNV / Patrick Sheehan-Gaumer)
My son Seamus with his great uncle, Dan Berrigan. (WNV / Patrick Sheehan-Gaumer)


It was almost time for communion. The room was warm and quiet. A priest in a long robe and...

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Hurray, I Am Pregnant! Oh Wait, What About the Planet?

(4) Comments | Posted September 14, 2013 | 2:51 PM

There it was: slosh, slosh, slosh, slosh -- a quadruple or octuple-time rhythm reverberating through my lower abdomen. It was the sound of a tiny, vibrant being camping out inside of me. My eyes widened. Patrick's filled with tears. Seamus -- now almost 14 months and a full-fledged toddler --...

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The Ultimate Loaded Question: What's for Dinner?

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 3:29 PM

Right now, my son is grinding stale Cheerios into a fine powder with the bottom of his sippy cup. He is also mushing banana into water he has poured on his tray to make a nice pudding that he will no doubt pour on the floor. Welcome to the toddler...

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Don't Be a Back-to-School Spendthrift -- Pop Some Tags at the Thrift Shop Instead

(28) Comments | Posted August 31, 2013 | 7:16 PM

Back to school. The words sent a wave of terror, thrill and itchiness through my body. The thrill and terror should be fairly universal, but the itchiness deserves a word of explanation. Every year, right before the beginning of the school year, our family spent the weekend at a retreat...

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Who Needs Gender Norms? Not Children -- That's For Sure

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 5:17 PM

My son is a boy: a handsome, strong, demanding, loving little boy whose favorite things are blocks and balls and Cheerios.

We did not know before he was born if we were going to have a boy or a girl. It was the first question everyone asked. "Congrats. What are...

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