Mothers of Intention — Mothers Aren’t Political? Think Again.

Mothers of Intention 1

Over the last year, I have been collecting essays and doing research for a book that I feel strongly and passionately  needs to be written — about the fact that mothers are becoming more political every day and are the biggest political force that needs to be focused on.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, I asked many fabulous writers who are mothers to write about something political for my blog feature called Mothers of Intention.  Most of the women I asked don’t usually write about politics, but after meeting some of them and getting to know them through their blogs, I knew they had “political” opinions on many things.

As I collected essays and spent more time thinking about it, I had the idea to turn the Mothers of Intention feature into a book.  But since I don’t have any connections in the publishing world, I didn’t know if I could interest anyone in the project.  I was unexpectedly surprised when the great people at Bright Sky Press (who also published the wonderful book from the Kirtsy ladies, Kirtsy Takes a Bow: A Celebration of Women’s Online Favorites) said they wanted to publish my book.

But as I’ve been interviewing people, mostly women, in the world of politics and political commentary, I’ve encountered the thought that they’re not sure that motherhood makes women more political.  That’s the opposite of what I hear from the women writers who’ve wonderfully agreed to participate in this project.  So, given what some have said, I’ve been doing some second-guessing recently about my premise for the book.

But the idea that motherhood makes women more political is summed up in this great video from a young mom who is running for Congress in Virginia — Krystal Ball (yes, that IS her real name)!  Krystal’s video gave me a little boost of confidence that my ideas and observations are on the right track:

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Krystal will let me interview her for my book, because she so wonderfully sums up what so many other mothers are saying — that becoming a parent made them focus on the world and politics in ways they had never dreamed of before.

Stay tuned as I keep going on this project that I hope will be a wake up call for those who think that “soccer moms” are too busy to focus on the important issues or too distracted to pay attention to what’s going on.


On another note, don’t miss posts from these amazing Mothers of Intention:

Susan from Toddler Planet weighs in on the Facebook bra color meme with In the Name of Awareness, and a post at the Women’s Campaign forum blog about the first woman to ever run for governor in Tennessee, Kim McMillan, called Breaking All the Ground in Tennessee.


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6 Responses to “Mothers of Intention — Mothers Aren’t Political? Think Again.”

  1. JJ Lassberg Says:

    I just finished up Kristof and WuDunn’s “Half the Sky” this weekend and I sure do hope that a growing number of mothers are getting political cause I think the future well-being of the planet and everything living on it depends on it. I look forward to a time when mothers and fathers are both equally involved in deciding the course we take as a country… and I look forward to reading the book!

  2. Christina Says:

    Motherhood has made me more involved in politics in ways I could never have imagined. Before kids, I voted regularly and read up on the issues, but that was the extent of my involvement. Now, it’s not just about me – policy being made now will have the greatest impact on my children and their children, and therefore it’s my responsibility to get involved, make my voice heard, and make sure I’m helping to shape this world into what I want my children to inherit. Everything is important to me now: health care, education, security, finance, justice. And so I do speak out on issues now, I participate in rallies, and I speak not only for myself, but for my children who are still too young to have a voice in the world they will soon be in control of.

    The short answer, of course, is now that I’m a mom, how could I NOT be more involved in politics?

  3. Deb on the Rocks Says:

    I think you are right on the money. I’ve seen motherhood radicalize women in many, many ways, ranging from learning about nutrition leading to Green politics to educational questions leading to running for school board. My perceptions might be skewed because of course in the gay community, it is understandably incredibly common to become or deepen in political awareness when becoming a parent or divorcing from a heterosexual marriage, but that was also true when I worked in impoverished communities as a (gasp) ACORN organizer way back when. Can’t wait for your book!.

  4. WhyMommy (Susan) Says:

    I am SO looking forward to your book, Joanne!

    I think for mothers, as well as others, it really helps if: a) there is a well-identified “task” that they can do and cross off their list, and b) they know that their efforts will make a difference.

    It’s not really the time of life for a lot of extra committee meetings and happy hours, y’know?

  5. Ann Douglas Says:

    I think most of us become passionate about issues in our community and in the wider world once we become mothers. In that sense, these issues are political, even though they don’t involve running for office.

    Each time a mother speaks out about an environmental, health, or educational issue, for example, she is being political.

    I hope you’ll write this book. I’d love to read it. I know you have a huge network of people who can help you to birth a book proposal and a book, but if I can be helpful in any way, just let me know. I’d be happy to help.

  6. Wendy Says:

    That motherhood can make a woman more political is news to everyone but us mothers. I know motherhood has made me more political – and much more connected to women and mothers everywhere.

    Now that I’m a mother I’m definitely more aware of issues and events that will have an impact on not just my children and family, but children and families around the world. And I’m much more willing to speak out and make my voice heard on issues I believe in.

    Please write your book. I will buy it and share it. I truly believe that it is women and mothers who can and will save us all.

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