I met some fabulous women at the Type-A Mom conference in September. Some were women I had admired in the blogosphere and met for the first time in real life, and others had blogs I hadn’t yet discovered, but am glad I did. One of those great women is Allison from Everything Mom and No Time for Flash Cards blog. She was part of the wonderful panel conversation we had about mothers getting more involved in politics. After the conference, she wrote this post about her own thoughts on what’s held her back and has graciously allowed me to post it here for Mothers of Intention!
“I’m just not that into politics.”
I hear this so often it scares me and I am guilty of this. Let me just get this out in the open first. I am not chastising you, I am chastising myself.
Why are so many of us afraid to be political? We sure as hell have the motivation to be advocates, we do it every single day. We speak for our children’s needs, whether great or small we take stands daily. There is no question as to the power of a mother when she is fighting for her child, so why don’t we fight equally hard for ourselves? Our community?
Why is it so hard for so many of us to do it outside our homes? Why is it so hard for us to say ” I think this because…” “I believe this because…”
“My voice is strong and heard because…”
Why do I feel so vulnerable taking a stand?
I use the excuse that I am not a US citizen to get my free pass. I can’t vote so it’s hard for me to get involved since I don’t get a say at the end of the day.
I do it all the time. ALL the time.
It’s interesting that I would feel so insecure, since becoming a mom I am considerably more confident, I found my legs and wings the day my son was placed in my arms, so where did my voice go?
I am so envious of the moms I know who are active politically, who are up to date on not just the headlines but the details of news that isn’t covered on TMZ. There are many of you, and I don’t know how I got off that track and onto the one that I am on now that gets my news from twitter. “I’m busy” is so pathetic even I don’t use that. If I have time to watch the “New Moon” trailer on YouTube I can read some articles in the Economist and remind my brain what it was like to read something above a grade 5 reading level.
I have been letting these questions sink in for a long time. Disappointment in yourself isn’t easy, and I’m disappointed in myself. I am fearful that in a few years when my son asks me about an issue I will defer to my husband and my changeover from independent minded college educated woman to Stepford wife will be complete.
At first I blamed not wanting to ruffle my friends feathers (online and real life), confrontation has become more and more uncomfortable. Being a stay at home parent is lonely, the friends I do have I want to keep. That, too, is really just an excuse, my good friends, online and off aren’t going to stop being my friend if I openly share my views, quietly or forcefully.
What it really comes down to and this is an embarrassing and vulnerable confession.
I feel stupid.
I have gotten lazy and used the excuse that I just needed something brainless to wind down after a long day parenting so much, brainless is all I feel I can handle.
That hurt to type. I am not brainless, but when it’s all you read, when it’s all you watch — what’s that saying about you are what you eat?
I hate asking my husband to explain something to me, not because I can’t get it but like the kid who skipped class I just wasn’t there to find out. I have checked out.
I know I am not the only one.
Starting today I am re-enrolling. I may not be able to vote but I used to know the details I used to know the facts and this delinquency has lasted long enough. I just need to make lunch, do laundry and play Legos first but I promise after that I’ll grab the Economist.