Mothers of Intention — I’m Just Not That Into Politics, by No Time for Flashcards

Mon, November 9, 2009

Moms & Politics, Mothers of Intention

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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.

Lame.

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.

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8 Responses to “Mothers of Intention — I’m Just Not That Into Politics, by No Time for Flashcards”

  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama Says:

    “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.”

    No, you are not the only one! I had to cheat off my husband’s ballot in the recent election and felt like Susan B. Anthony & Lucretia Mott were looking down their noses at me from beyond.

    Thanks for the call to action.

  2. PunditMom Says:

    I think there are a lot of people — men and women — who feel this way in terms of not being able to keep up with life and current events. How do we manage that so we can make this a better country?

  3. Allie Says:

    I think the “Entertainment News” and gossip crap takes up so much of our time and tv energy we miss out on the real things or feel like we don’t have enough time.

  4. Maya Says:

    I think you phrased this all so well. I feel the same way often, except I’m asking my brother and not my husband. ;-)

  5. Jen Says:

    What a great post. I find I have been so busy lately that I am missing headlines and stories, running on survival instincts. It makes me feel like I’m getting buried too deeply.

    I try to surround myself with smart, funny, sharp people, and to be honest I feel better about myself and the world in general when I remember I am smart and have something worthwhile to contribute too. So, Allie, pick up your Economist. I’ll be reading my newspaper, my Moneysense mag, dipping into some non-fiction, and making time to write. Our brains deserve it.

  6. Jessica Says:

    Before I had kids I used to get up and read all the news while I drink my coffee now I’m lucky if I get to finish a cup of coffee. I wish that I didn’t feel like at the end of the day all I want is some light entertainment to unwind from the day. I need to make more of an effort to stay informed because what happens in today’s political world will affect the future world for my children. Thanks for posting this and reminding me that just because I’m a busy mom I’m still an intelligent woman that needs to stay informed for the sake of my family.

  7. PunditMom Says:

    Allie, Your point about entertainment “news” is an excellent one. Even when we want to be informed or make our voices heard, demands increase so much with parenthood that it is easier at the end of the day to relax with something that’s less taxing. Maybe we need to find a way to combine Entertainment Tonight with the Rachel Maddow Show! :)

  8. The Mamasphere Says:

    Allie you are amazing and have our full support– speak up loud and make waves!!!

    Big ones. We’ll still be there. Promise.

    xoxo.


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