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Who ever decided that motherhood and politics should be kept separate? I find this very frustrating in Moms' groups. Many groups have stated policies that political views and discussions are not welcome within the confines of the organization. The mandate to be "nice" is holding us back. There seems to be a fear that it's more important to "all get along" than to allow an open dialogue.

Mothers aren't going to get political power unless we act like we want it, and in fact demand it. That is why I am so drawn to MomsRising and "The Motherhood Manifesto." The facts are aired and the stage is been set for real discussion. Sure, we won't all agree, but as mothers there is a whole lot of common ground we can cover together.

I encourage you to challenge the limits of the Moms' groups you belong to. Political doesn't have to mean partisan. How about if candidates from all parties are invited to speak to your group before the next election? Even more important than helping you to decide who you'll vote for, inviting representatives and challengers shows that Moms care about the policies that leaders are enacting on our behalf. We're smart, we're paying attention, and we vote.

Motherhood is inherently political for me. As a woman who had the privilege of a professional education, gender equality was a near-reality for me before I became a Mom. Then adding a baby to our family brought gender roles to the forefront. I was lucky to be able to afford self-financed maternity leave, and I have health insurance for my husband, but I am all too aware that many women are lacking these basic support systems.

I love that motherhood burst my little bubble and revved up my political engines. The motherhood movement faces many challenges, but we have fantastic resources to draw on if we all work together.

How did motherhood change your political views and involvement? Did you have a lightning-strike moment of truth, or a slowly dawning awareness? I'd love to hear your stories.


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