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Frida Berrigan
Frida Berrigan is a columnist for Waging Nonviolence and the author of "It Runs In The Family: On Being Raised By Radicals And Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood." She also serves on the Board of the War Resisters League.

Entries by Frida Berrigan

Kids' Questions on a Lockdown Planet

(2) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 4:54 PM

Thinking the Parentally Unthinkable
Cross-posted with

"What did you do at school today, Seamus?" It’s a question I ask him every day.

"Well," my proud preschooler begins, "we did not have a lockdown drill today." And that’s about as far as he...

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Why I Went to Guantánamo, Again

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 5:38 PM

This post was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

I have the world's worst hair cut. It is uneven, hacked and does nothing to flatter my features. For the first few days after I cut it, my hair was also super dirty, sticking straight up with a Pomade of bug...

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Cutting Through the Helplessness of the Refugee Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 11:40 AM

This post was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

Fences. Barbed wire. Plexiglass riot shields. Refugee camps. Unanswered questions. Terror. Roiling seas in flimsy boats. Waiting. Fear. Walking. Huddled in wet, cold fields with no shelter and no certainty about what tomorrow brings. This and so much more is the...

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Parenting on the Brink

(8) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 12:34 PM

Wrestling With Fears Too Big to Name
Cross-posted with

Madeline is in the swing, her face the picture of delight. “Mo, mo,” she cries and kicks her legs to show me that she wants me to push her higher and faster. I...

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Why I'm a 'Makeup Tax' Dodger, and You Should Be Too

(6) Comments | Posted September 19, 2015 | 2:23 PM

This post was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

About ten years ago, a friend and I went to the Clinique counter at Saks Fifth Avenue for makeovers. We thought it would be fun. On the way, I rehearsed my answer to what I imagined would be the makeup artist's...

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This Labor Day, Stand With Working Women

(12) Comments | Posted September 6, 2015 | 1:29 PM

This post was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

I do not have a job. I haven't had one in years. But, as mom of three little ones, I feel like I am working harder than I ever have before.

Today, I woke up before the sun came up, nursed...

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School May Be Starting, But That Doesn't Mean Parents Stop Teaching

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 2:00 PM

This post was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

I am in countdown mode. In just one week, Seamus Philip Berrigan Sheehan-Gaumer starts school. That's right, our 3-year-old will matriculate at The Friendship School in Waterford, Connecticut from about 9:30 in the morning until 3:00 p.m. five days a week....

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Why I Let My Son Wear a Dress

(2) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 1:32 PM

This post was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

My son Seamus wears a dress.

Actually he has two: a dark pink long-sleeved ballerina number with a leotard top and a short sleeved princess dress with pearls and ribbons. They are both pilled and stained, and they disintegrate a little...

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Baltimore Is Burning -- Not Just in Flames, But With a Righteous Anger

(2) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 8:24 PM

This article was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

Baltimore is my home town -- the birth place of Jonah House, a Christian nonviolent resistance community founded by my parents, Phil Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister. Those places that the whole world is seeing "going crazy" on the news? They are...

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Uncle Pentagon

(2) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 11:38 AM

Growing Up in the Shadow of the American War State
Cross-posted with

The Pentagon loomed so large in my childhood that it could have been another member of my family. Maybe a menacing uncle who doled out put-downs and whacks to teach us lessons...

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Am I Still A Rebellious Mom if I Use Disposable Diapers?

(4) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 3:20 PM

This article was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

I have a confession to make: I am hardly using cloth diapers anymore.

There it is. I said it out loud. It feels good to get this off my chest.

I should go on. There are worse things in the world...

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No Sleep Till Sleep Is a Fundamental Human Right

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2015 | 3:34 PM

Homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk in San Francisco. (Flickr/Franco Folini)

Madeline is a binge eater. My teething 10-month-old is nursing half the night. Her preferred position is on her side with me sort of curled around her so that she can sleep/nurse with...

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How's a Busy Mom Supposed to Find the Time to Protest Guantánamo?

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 1:09 PM

Witness Against Torture protesters rallied outside the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. (Flickr / Matthew Daloisio)

This is how it starts.

I am sitting on the floor in the living room. My son Seamus -- a 2-and-a-half-year-old -- is cuddled...

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Como vou preparar meu filho branco para as interações que ele não terá com a polícia

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 2:48 PM

"Tenho três filhos, dois deles negros. Eu temo pela vida dos meus filhos. Minha filha mais nova tem 6 anos. Quando ela vê um policial, sente medo. Ela não os vê como alguém que está lá para protegê-la e ajudá-la."

Foi o que uma mulher chamada Rodrice Vincent disse a...

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How I Will Prepare My White Son for the Interactions He Won't Have With Police

(52) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 3:56 PM

"I'm a mother of three children, two of which are black boys. I fear for the lives of my sons. My daughter, my youngest, is 6 years old. When she looks at a police officer, she's afraid. She's not looking at them as somebody who's there to protect and serve...

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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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