I recently read about a Florida mom who went to Occupy Wall Street. The New York Post got wind of her story, proceeded to write about it but also implied in part that her actions were not particularly responsible. The Daily Kos goes into detail, explaining the support she had from her community so that she could be there in the first place. But still, this woman went and tried to DO something, but her time away from her children was questioned instead.
It makes you stop and think, doesn’t it? So, if you’re not home perpetually fussing over your children, but trying to make a difference in a movement you believe in… THAT makes you a “bad” mom?
I don’t like that. I don’t like that one little bit. In fact, it should be the other way around. A mother who takes action to create a better future for her children should be considered a “good” mother, right? I get really irked when moms are shelved and categorized as beings meant ONLY to cluck over their wee ones. That’s it. Don’t you dare shift your interests or think outside that parenting box. Because, if you do, your children will suffer.
Yep. Well. Now I’m inspired to share ways mothers CAN get up and Occupy Wall Street. Sure, sure. Not all of us can take a train to NYC and pitch a tent next to that Florida mom mentioned in the article. But there ARE things we can do that will push back against the 1%.
Read and Listen. I get it. It’s all depressing. It’s often discouraging. It’s usually confusing as hell. Wall Street, taxes, the economy, the gridlock on Capitol Hill. It’s far easier to ignore it than pay attention and try to untangle any of it. But give yourself some credit, and take the time to read a couple news articles every day. Turn on the news or NPR. Listen. My guess is that you will have an opinion about it all before long.
Write. Maybe you have a blog. Maybe you read one but never comment. Maybe you’re on Facebook or Twitter. Maybe you read an article you disagree with and there, at the bottom of the article, is an email address for the editor of that newspaper. Write. Say what you think. You may be surprised at the response.
Write some more. Don’t forget about writing to your representatives. I’ve had a congressman tell me point blank that he reads blog posts and every letter that comes into his office. He takes action when his constituents holler about something enough. Words are a way to take important action.
Share information. Did you just read a great article online? “Like” it on Facebook. Is there a great blog out there? Comment and tell friends about it. Are a group of moms meeting at a park to talk about changing this situation on a local level? Call the news.
Show up to meetings. Whether it’s a local neighborhood meeting, or a district meeting, or a town hall meeting about an issue you feel strongly about – go. So what if your child might make some noise. I bet your child will make people notice that you’re there in the first place.
Vote. The most important thing you can do to illicit change is vote. Hey, bring the kids! Mine love it — they get stickers and get to see that their mom believes in our democratic system. Don’t ignore the issues, make your vote count.
Get your protest on. Oh, wait. There is a movement happening in your area? And you feel strongly about it? Get the signs, get the kids and go. Your stroller of children covered in flags might even get you on the news. Wait, is it shady to use your children to get across a political point? It’s a lot less shady than Wall Street keeping the government in their back pocket. So, get out there. 99% is still the majority, after all.