Allison Stevens, a columnist based in Washington D.C., recently discussed why some new mothers become less politically active after having children. It's due to sheer exhaustion, explained Stevens, who has two young children.
"Not long ago I worked as a reporter for daily publications. I used to hammer out up to three stories a day," Stevens wrote in her online column, "Momagenda." "Now it seems like I have lost all ability to write anything on the fly, other than an e-mail to my husband begging him to come home from work and help me get mac 'n cheese on the table before the 2-year-old melts down."
Stevens pointed out the obvious but often unspoken: Women who eat on the run, rarely get enough sleep and juggle careers with motherhood don't have much free time to lobby for laws on behalf of children and families.
Her column, "Exhaustion is Political Parent's Enemy No. 1," struck a chord with me, especially her description of not even having time to keep up with current events. As a former newspaper journalist, something is amiss in my life if I can't take time to pick up the paper and educate myself on local news and developments. But since I've been spending more time as a teacher and rushing the whole family out the door by 7:20 a.m. in order to drop off the kids and make it to my school internship, the newspapers have started piling up on my front porch. Last week, it was Friday by the time I read news that happened the weekend before.
There are watchdog groups out there that stay informed and continue standing up for the rights of families and children, Stevens pointed out. We also have strong and passionate advocates in government, politics and the community.
"But mothers can't job this out, however tired we may feel," she stressed.
Which is why she decided to launch Momagenda, a column about motherhood and politics. It's one more thing on top of her long list of responsibilities, but she has made it her mission to educate other parents about legislation, court cases, political campaigns and other issues and events that affect families.
And for that, I'm grateful.
How about you? Are you able to keep up with current events? Despite the demands of your career and household, are you still engaged in politics and the community? Is it a priority for your family?