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The Knowledge, Practices and Rituals of Womenhood

Mother and Child First Period Weekend

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My wish…

“As she is approaching her change to be unafraid,

as she goes through the change to be unashamed,

so that once she is a young woman, and later an adult,

she can take ownership and pride in who she is,

and the natural process that goes on in her body.”

A Mother

 

Dear mothers, (female caretakers, grandmothers, aunts, and older sisters)

Did anyone ever teach you about puberty and how your body would change as you began to grow? Did you have people to speak to about your mood swings and emotions? Were you ever honoured as you grew from girl to young woman? What is your story of transition? What is the story of your first bleed?

Many of us didn’t benefit from such teachings or simple conversations. To fully embrace their changing bodies or to have the knowledge to make proper decisions or to feel happy about having their periods, our daughters need not resort to worrisome body comparisons or the wonder and sometimes anxiety as to why their body is developing at a different speed than others.

Would you like your daughters to take part in a gathering of learning, connecting and celebrating as they take their first steps towards young womenhood? And would you like to gather with other mothers and build a circle of women, maybe even an ongoing community, to support you and your girls?

If you are in the situation that your daughter is teary-eyed and like “Oh no, Mom, I don’t want to talk about it!”, then no worries. You’re still very welcome to join the group for the part where the mothers come together. There will be insights into how you can support and celebrate your daughter within the comfort of your family.

This invitation is for families with daughters age 8 till 12 years old. 

 

This wonderful celebration is in 3 parts

Session 1 for mothers 

Saturday, Nov 30th,  2pm – 5pm 

Much of the role of provider of information, wisdom and guidance falls, naturally and rewardingly, to mothers and female carers. For this reason we meet on our own for a two-hour session before the Celebration Day. This is an important preparation for the Day and allows time for adult conversation and storytelling. During this session mothers commonly receive ideas and support for their unfolding mother-daughter relationship as they journey the adolescent years together. This is also your time to discover rich and intriguing doorways into a new experience of your own cyclic journey and have an opportunity to explore your own personal experience of puberty and menarche and its relationship to the parenting of your daughter through this time. I will share the work I intend to do with your girls. We will walk the path before the girls. We will create some elements to be used for the ceremony the next day. You will be nourished and nurtured. This is a time for mothering the mother so you can be at your best for your daughters.

 

Session 2 is in two parts:

Sunday, Dec 1st,  10 am – 4pm

Part 1 – just for daughters: 10 am – 12:30pm

The girls will be welcomed and immersed in fun and creative activities to help them get to know their bodies, and understand how their bodies are changing, or will change in the near future. The focus is on creating a strong sense of mutual sharing and support around menstruation.

I will provide different learning styles while covering puberty facts, myths and misconceptions. This is a time to celebrate themselves as girls and to consider their path and power as they move towards becoming young women. They will look at the menstrual seasons, play with menstrual products, and explore how to prepare for their periods. They will also receive a ‘First Period Kit & Resource book’.

Most importantly, together, we will talk in openness, kindness, confidentiality and respect, which also means that nobody has to share unless they feel like it.

I’m sure, some of the girls will be hesitant, quiet and very shy at first. My approach is to listen and lead with, what do you really wanna know? Making this a time for them. At the end we will create something which is not silly or lame in their eyes for the ceremony, something which has meaning to them and who they are.

 

Lunch 12:30pm

I invite you to bring food to share with the other mothers and daughters. As we eat together, we will enjoy the company of the group before returning back to a sacred space.

 

Part 2 – daughter and mother ceremony: 1:30pm – 4pm

I feel we all agree that our modern society lacks the rituals to mark important transitions in our lives. Without these clear markings of celebration within your family and community, we can end up feeling disconnected and living a life where everything just blends together. A ceremony for girls coming of age is an important one, for making memories and setting the tone for how our girls view themselves and their bodies.

We long for the ritual, but the menarche (first period) ritual is linked to one of the biggest taboo in our culture… which explains our uncomfortableness and fear around coming together and talking about it. This is a brave first step for all of us towards breaking this ancient taboo.

The details of the afternoon will be coloured by what the girls want to do for their ceremony. The overall structure will start with a gentle ceremony for each girl, inviting them to join our circle of women and providing them with blessings for the journey ahead. Mothers will present their gifts and words of welcome and love and then we will share stories together of growing up and changing bodies. At the end of this, around 3 pm, fathers, partners and siblings are welcome to join in on the celebration.

My wish is, that this weekend be a time where you and your daughter will have the opportunity to connect to each other and experience the special bond you have through your common experience of being female. Hopefully, you will also both make bonds with a community that can continue to meet in circles again in the future.

 

What to bring

  • a small gift for your daughter’s ceremony. An example could be a necklace, a journal, a scarf, ear pirchings, a promish for a lunch together or a day at the spa, something which will be special to her.
  • pictures of the women in your family, like your grandmother, mother, yourself and your daughter
  • pen, paper or journal and an envelope for letter writing
  • a dish for the potluck lunch
  • something red to wear

 

The Space

This workshop is supported and hosted in collaboration with Tiger Lotus Coop & The Pine Collective.

The Pine Collective

# 314, 10 Pine Ave W, Montreal, QC, H2W1P9

 

Payment

Cost for mother and child $175 (for the mothers only part $100)

Plus “First period kit and Resource book” $25 

Payment secures your space. Payment is due Nov 22nd through e-transfer to trine.veiss@gmail.com

If it is helpful for you to pay half by Nov 22nd, and the rest on the day, I am happy to offer this option too.

I don’t want money to stop anyone from participating.

As you sign up please send me an email so we can connect before the weekend and get to know each other a bit.

Lots of Love

Trine

 

At her first bleeding a girls meets her power.

During her bleeding years she practices it.

At menopause, she becomes it”

Traditional Native American saying

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