As many of you know, our mom, Sonia, is a therapist and gives fabulous advice! We thought it would be fun to offer her a monthly guest column, called DEAR, SONIA, where she could answer queries from all of you! This isn’t ACTUAL therapy, nor, should this column be treated as a replacement, or stand in for your own personal wellness, or mental health support.
So! To get us rolling, let me suggest some “do’s” to inspire you!
“Dear Sonia, I am pregnant with twins, and I wondered if you had an opinion about dressing them alike?”
“Dear Sonia, I was inspired to learn that you never remarried after your first divorce. I feel a lot of social pressure to tie the knot, how did you learn to say FUCK THE PATRIARCHY?”
Leave your questions in the comments below!
Sara and Tegan
One final note, this column will be for paid subscribers, so if you’re dying to know, what our mom thinks about the patriarchy, you’ll have to level up.
Hey Everyone!! I really appreciate all your questions and that you have an interest in my perspective and what I may be able to add, suggest etc. to some of the issues you may be experiencing in your life. Some of the questions pose quite significant challenges and it is really important that you access professional support. I realize private therapy is not an option for many but there are free services available that you can access in person and online in both the USA and Canada. I also think it is important to emphasize that a response from me is not meant to replace face to face assistance in the community where you live. There are also crisis lines and of course you can always ask for support from a trusted teacher, spiritual advisor, nurse, doctor, family member or wise friend. I've tackled a few questions that were straightforward and a little easier to answer in the comment section. I feel like I really want to answer everyone's questions asap but I will only be able to pick a few questions at this time and respond in a longer format that Tegan and Sara will post on a later date. Please be patient and know I am not overlooking the importance of what you've asked if you have not had a response from me.
Firstly I am autistic so if my words seem jumbled I apologize. I don’t know where to start so I guess I’ll just jump right in, I was in a abusive relationship with my sons sperm donor. They thankfully do not live anywhere near me now but unfortunately I am still tied into having them in my life because of my son. My son is 4 years old and desperately misses his “dad”. The problem is, they were abusive towards him and is not allowed to see him without supervision. My son hasn’t seen his “dad” in 7 months now. They could have exercised their rights and came to see their son but they just kept making excuses not to. My son has been saying he misses his “dad” multiple times a day and I don’t know what to do. I do not know if I should try and talk to my ex and see if they will come see my son or what. I am in the process of going to court to gain full custody of my son. I am honestly quite afraid to talk to them because of the abuse I’ve suffered. I also don’t know if it’s the right thing for my son to be seeing his “dad” or if that will harm him even more. I hate seeing my son miss his “dad” even though they physically and emotionally abused him. I’m at a loss of what to do. If this isn’t your area of expertise/too hard to answer or if it’s too deep of a question I apologize.
What was it like growing up in Saskatchewan? My great grandparents had a farm in Herbert when my dad was young. I went there one time......not a whole lot going on over there lol.
I am a big fan of your pottery and adore the piece that I have ❤️
I’m a teacher of fifth graders and they’re starting to go into their pubescent age when they begin to act like little adults even though they’re not. So they’re in the rolling eyes and groaning and gossiping phase that as a single, non-binary lesbian in their late twenties, I haven’t ever had to deal with. Do you have any advice on how to still talk to pubescent teens without losing patience, and still speak with love? Only asking because you worked in therapy and social work and raised two cool humans while getting masters which is so amazing. Thanks and hope you’re well!
Do you have any suggestions on how to tell a family member their child should get tested for autism? (The child is 5 almost 6. Repeats the last word or phrase you said over and over. He’s not able to hold conversations that last longer than 2 sentences. He often can’t process things you tell him to do. You just get this blank stare back. The behavior doesn’t change from day to night.) I want the child to get help before he starts school to prevent him from getting so frustrated that he doesn’t like school.
If you have any other suggestions or tips that may help, let me know. I know that he does better when he has his stuffed bear with him.
How did you know it was the right time to go back to school for your masters? I am graduating with a BA in a couple of months, and while I am excited, I’m also thinking and worrying about what’s next. Do you have any advice as far as how to decide whether to continue school or go to work? Thank you!
I've been seeing the same therapist for 5 years, but I think our time is coming to an end. My relationship with him is ~complicated--he's seen me through some really dark times, but we've also been having the same conversations for years to no end. And there have been times when I feel like he's done more harm than good. Is there any right or wrong way to break up with a therapist?? How do I cope with the fact I'm likely never going to see this person again? He's been such a fixture in my life! And I am Very Bad at breakups. Do I list my grievances before I go?
Too Shy To Say Bye
dear sonia - how do you stay motivated to keep working for change when the world can be so bleak?
(and just to add - both my parents are therapists and from high school memoir and concert stories over the years i admire you so much!!)
Never never dress twin the same!!!
Dear Sonia, I am having trouble feeling motivated to do my work after losing a family member. Do you have any ideas about managing lack of energy due to grief? I am about a month out from the loss right now. Don't worry, I am already listening to lots of T&S music ;) Thanks for being part of the conversation! ~ Lou
Dear Sonia, I will be 40-weeks pregnant on Friday. Any words of wisdom as my wife and I enter the world of the birthing process?
dear sonia, every time i need a spoon rest, i think about how i don't have on of your fried egg or ghost spoon rests (regrets lol) but this then leads me to thinking about art. how did you got into pottery? i'm also wondering if there's anything you've been wanting to try - art or otherwise, like archery or something. [creativity itself is an affront to the patriarchy, right??]
I have trouble falling and staying asleep. I don't want to try sleep aid or sleeping pills because I know those things can cause insomnia to become worse in the long term. Do you have any tips on nightly rituals that help you fall asleep?
My son is 5 and in pre-k. I like to do my nails sometimes by putting nail polish strips on. He likes to have me put them on him too. We had fun for Halloween and Christmas. However, around that time- 4 kids in his class knocked him over and wouldn’t get off of him. He was 4 at the time. They did this 3 times on the playground until he was able to get away and hide. I told his teacher, and she said she would take care of it. I’m worried that this was due to the nail polish. At Christmas, my mom pulled me aside and told me that she had nail polish remover because he is getting bullied. I feel like he should be able to express himself however he wants, but it also breaks my heart to have him bullied. I haven’t done my nails since Christmas. He asked me yesterday if I could do his nails. I don’t want to make him a target, but I also don’t want to tell him no. I feel this teaches him to hide himself because of other people. He has the sweetest heart. I was bullied when I was in school, and it breaks my heart for him to be bullied. Any advice? Even just acknowledging that these kids are fuck heads is ok. :)
First of all, I would like to say how wonderful it was to meet you during The Con X Tour. I hope to be able to meet you again someday. Xx
Right, on to my question,
Being such an avid feminist & activist yourself, how does it feel as a parent to see your daughters become the activists they have, inspiring so many people (like me) to stand up and speak out? Considering the state of the U.SA with it’s anti trans, lgbtqplus legislation were you relieved that they both (well Sara mainly) relocated back to Vancouver as their main residence again? I have other questions but I won’t take up any more of your time! All our love from our family to yours, Mo says “mew” to Tilly too! ❤️❤️
P.s. just wanted to say you give the best mom hugs xx
I'm a 46 year old single lesbian, I've been on my own for about 3 years. I want to date again, but don't know where to start.
Any advice to help me move on towards dating
Dear Sonia last Friday I had an anxiety attack on my way to school, how to tell my mom that I need to go to therapy.
Dear Sonia, what’s your favourite memory of being on / visiting Tegan & Sara on Tour?
Which musical artists really speak/spoke to you, both now and back when your daughters were growing up? (Besides I presume Springsteen.)
Did your youngsters have a "secret language" , and, more importantly, did you ever decipher it? I still remember a few of the words my sister (not a twin) and I made up for things.
I'm in dire need of a 'mom comfort recipe'. Between recently moving, never having a good connection with my family and living alone, i've been craving "home" but home doesn't really exist to me. As a kid did you have a comfort meal from your parents, or one you made for your kids growing up? If it's too personal to share a specific recipe I totally understand that, i'd be grateful even just giving an idea of what a mom would make for their kid visiting home to feel comforted. :)
Do you have any advice for someone who has lost all their self-confidence and self belief due to a traumatic event(s) in their life?￼￼￼
I understand if this question is too vague but I didn’t wanna make it too long for you, completely understand if you can’t answer it because of this.￼
Thanks Sonny. 🙂
Also just wanted to say a quick thank you for being a big part in Tegan and Sara being who they are today, they’re amazing so thank you. ￼
I am a 42-year-old woman with an almost-22-year-old daughter. I found High School very relatable from both perspectives; being a teenager is terrifying, as is raising one. (As is finding out about all the dangerous things they did, years later!).
I’m very close with my daughter and, though she moved out when she graduated high school, I’m having a really hard time staying out of her business. I’m just worried about her all the time- that she won’t find love, won’t be safe, won’t pay her bills, and won’t find something that makes her truly happy. So I’m constantly checking up on her: ‘did you pay your taxes?’ ‘do you really think this guy is right for you?’ ‘Have you thought about going back to school?’ You know- all the questions that the interfering mom poses in the movies. It doesn’t help that when anything goes wrong in her life she calls me and dumps it all on my shoulders. That’s what a mom is for (right?) but sometimes it feels SO toxic. I’m wondering how I can create some boundaries for *both* of us, while maintaining our relationship. It’s freaking hard to let go…
Thanks to all 3 of you for doing this 💚
My mom had me and my sisters (triplets) via IVF. Even though we were the most planned babies, she didn’t find out there were 3 until a little later on and freaked out because everyone already got her 2 of everything.
Did you know right away you were pregnant with twins? Did you freak out anyway?
Thanks for reading. Love your pottery. :D
I have so many plans and things I want to do in my life. I'm still quite young, but I often feel like I'm simultaneously too young and too old. It's like I feel rushed to accomplished things, but I also know it takes time. I can't help but feel anxiety and dread. Do you have any advice on how to slow down? How can I stop perceiving life as a race to get better and just be content with what I have now and what is yet to come? Thank you, Sonia!
Dear Sonia, how did you raise these two genuine, confident, and loving individuals? I try to do the same with my 20-month year old but I am not sure about my parenting style (if you are familiar with the show Schitt's Creek - which I hope you are - think of Moira Rose😅). Thank you! Also, hi and it's so nice to know you are here (as in this virtual space your awesome daughters created for us)!🙂❤️
Love this for you guys ❤️ ☺️
This is a great idea. 😊
I will try to think of a question.
tell the truth how long has she been BEGGING y’all to let her do this
I am currently in college with one more year until I’m finished with my BA degree. I am also now working 3 part time jobs just to get by. I recently had a really good offer come up to work in my hometown at a school I really love while also completing a teaching program there. I am torn between leaving my college to work at this new environment with a new program or to stay and finish my degree and do the teaching program afterwards. Do you have any advise? I really want to do both but obviously that’s not an option (sadly). Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
Also, this is off topic but Sonia, you’re such an amazing woman and you’ve raised two of the greatest people I know. They inspire me every day and I know that you had a lot to do with how they’ve turned out as adults so thank YOU for being part of their journey and for shaping them to be the best people in the world.
What advice would you give parents who are trying to balance between allowing their teenagers to explore and enjoy, while also keeping them safe and ensuring that the have the best chance of being successful in their adult lives?
I wonder how you navigated T&S’s teenage/early adult years with the drugs and artist’s lifestyle (no offense!). I personally grew up very sheltered and clean cut, so I’d love some insight into something different from my own experience.
Ok now this is fomo
Can you give some career advice. I’m the same age as T&S, queer, and work as an audio engineer and filmmaker throughout LA. I worked for major studio for over 10 years, but never got to a level were I was making good money. I’m now an independent contractor and inspired by T&S starting a new chapter in their careers, self management and no label support. What advice can you give to working for yourself? I often feel overwhelmed with finding the work that I want and wonder if it’s sustainable. Thanks!
I've always wondered what it was like for you when Tegan & Sara came out? My comming out to my parents was very traumatizing (I actually had to do it twice!) I was a teenager at the time and remembering how my Dad cried that I was his only daughter still haunts me. I felt like I really let them down and spent a large amount of my life hiding myself. The response was so bad that I was terrified of coming out to anyone else.
Later in life, when my Dad became very ill, life changed a lot for him. Thinking back now, I think my Dad had a lot of regrets and when I came out to them a second time he had a much more positive response. I think it was still hard for him, but I think because his perspective on life had changed, I don't think he wanted to spend the time he had left not having a relationship with me. For my Mom, it was and still is something she can't even talk about. After reading High School I always wondered what that process was like for you; how did you go from having that intital response to where you are now? My Dad just passed in November and I've been doing a lot of reflecting since his passing. I've learned that my childhood trauma was caused partly because I was raised by two parents who didn't deal with their own trauma. So now I'm doing the work for me that they couldn't do for themselves (if that makes sense). I don't want to spend the rest of my life hiding myself from my Mom, so what can I do to make it better? What helped you?
I am currently on my second marriage with this amazing woman named Jess. We are both military and grew up around the same area of NY/NJ. There is an age gap of almost 9 years which does not really bother me much except when it comes to these little fights we have. They seem really stupid, almost like micro fights that can build up into screaming matches really quickly. The last one I tried to stop it before it got that bad but I ended up crying and just walking away. It seemed like she was trying to discredit whatever I was irritated about and make it seem like I get irritated out of nowhere. How can I express myself without feeling like nothing I am saying is getting through? It is like I am trying to make her understand my side but she is really quick to point out how ridiculous my side is. In the end she did apologize and said if we didn't fight then it would mean we didn't love each other. To that I cringed, I was married before where I would hear that same thing and I bought into it until everything kind of shattered. How do I keep this from imploding, I personally don't believe fighting equates to love, in my opinion.
Thank you for reading,
Love this idea!
Dear Sonia, I'm 28 and have a girlfriend who I love and we've been together 9 months. I just interviewed for my dream job in a different country, do I take the job if I'm offered it or turn it down to stay with my girlfriend. Do long distance relationships work? (from Tegan's last column it feels like the answer is no!)
Since coming out as a lesbian, I have had a tricky relationship with my mom (the only living parent I have left). We have never really been close, but I feel a bigger disconnect now and some guilt for distancing myself from her even more. She's very loving and generous, but in the same breath will tell me how much she disagrees with my "lifestyle choices."
My girlfriend and I have a beautiful relationship, but as ours grows, my relationship with my mom dissipates more and more. We have moved further and further away from my mom over the past few months for work purposes, so communication and physical visits have gotten pretty sparse. I don't think it's very healthy for me to deal with all of the emotional manipulation and hateful speeches about my sexuality, but at the same time I miss her presence in my life.
I guess I'm just torn between feeling the peace of living my life the way I want without her interjecting remarks and feeling the guilt of losing another parent.
What should I do about the conflicting feelings?
Hi lady Sonia..!One second, is this the legendary woman Sonia?..She's a so lucky mother 'cos she has you both..I love so much 😘Tegan,😘Sara..And Sonia, I have to love her 'cos she's their mother😘..Sonia You've heard of Amazon women, my question: What would you change first if you were the leader of Amazons.?
For what it is worth, I would just like to say how much I admire your tenacity and dedication for completing your degree(s) and building a successful career. From what I gather, you had a lot going on (understatement?) and I’m sure some days were not easy. Your ability to manage and excel is a testament to your strength and perseverance.
Awesome Idea 💡 👏