Deconstructing Mamas

You Do Not Have to Be Good - Jenny Shannon

April 12, 2022 Lizz Enns Petters and Esther Joy Goetz Season 1 Episode 7
Deconstructing Mamas
You Do Not Have to Be Good - Jenny Shannon
Show Notes

"If you, too, find yourself eating your words when a crisis hits: 1. You're not alone and, 2. Being wrong can suck, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't also be delicious."

In this episode on the Deconstructing Mamas podcast, Jenny Shannon, author of that quote, tackles the harmful and toxic ideology of "being a good girl" and how that one phrase by renowned poet, Mary Oliver, "You do not have to be good" brought great healing to her broken heart and freed her up to figure out what had been haunting her all her life and what could change. Jenny's gentle wisdom, along with her fantastic ability to make your heart have a good, knowing chuckle, will have you hungry for more. We know we do.


Jenny is a fellow deconstructing mama of two young girls, English teacher and music enthusiast with a deep-seated penchant for Thai food, fart jokes and dirty martinis. Several years ago, she believed she had finally figured out her life and her role in it. She's been eating her words ever since.

And now we want to as well.

Websites:  Eat My Words
                        The She Interviews 

Facebook: Jenny Vanderberg Shannon
                        The She Interviews 

Instagram:  Jenny Vanderberg Shannon
                          The She Interviews 


Mary Oliver
Braiding Sweet Grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer 

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal
of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours,
and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the
clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese,
high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese,
harsh and exciting
— over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver