2020 has been a year for the history books. As much as we would like to put this year in the past, there is still a major, historical milestone upon us–Election Day. Every four years, we are given the opportunity to cast our vote for the highest office in the country and 2020 is one of those years. During this election cycle, moms have the potential to be a major voting bloc. Here are five reasons why every mom should vote.
Reason #1: To Be A Voice For Your Kids
As a parent, one of my goals is to protect my son. Voting gives me the opportunity to ensure a safe and equitable future for him. The laws and regulations put in place by our government can have a longer-lasting effect on our children’s lives than our own. It’s important to consider their future when placing our own votes. They depend on us.
If you have older children, especially teenagers, talk to them about the issues that concern them. They may not be able to vote but that doesn’t mean they are not concerned about the results of the election.
Reason #2: To Make Change In Your Community
Although the topic of conversation currently centers around the presidential election, it’s important to remember that you are also voting for local officials this year. Local elections are equally important! You’re voting for someone who will advocate for your community and the issues that are most pressing. Are you worried about employment, crime, funding for your child’s school, or access to resources? These topics are issues our local government officials will have a say in, and you want to ensure you are voting for someone who will pursue the change your community needs.
Reason #3: To Speak Up For Other Mothers
When I became a mother, I was blown away by the outreach I received from other mothers. I barely knew some of these women or didn’t even consider myself to be friends with her. What bridged that divide was the fact that we were both mothers. Mothers support mothers. Whether we are stay-at-home moms, working moms, single moms, stepmoms, LGBTQ moms, BIPOC moms, we are all bonded in motherhood and want what is best for our children.
We need to consider the reforms that need to be made to help our fellow mothers to succeed. When I had my son in 2018, my employer did not offer any sort of formal paid maternity leave. There wasn’t even a company policy around the issue. I had to negotiate four weeks of paid time off, which I was able to supplement with an additional week of PTO for a total of five weeks paid. But the harsh reality is that some moms get even less or none at all. Some women can’t afford to take the 12 weeks of unpaid paternity leave offered through FMLA. Even if paid leave or affordable childcare or access to government assistance are not issues that directly influence you, they do influence your fellow moms.
Reason #4: Because It’s Your Civic Duty
Civic duties refer to responsibilities expected from all members of society. Other examples of civic duties include serving on a jury, paying taxes, and obeying the law. Voting is technically voluntary, but it provides us with the opportunity to participate in our democracy.
It’s important to remember that being civically engaged goes beyond election cycles. Your voice can be heard in between elections by being an advocate for issues important to you and your family. Stay in touch with local officials in between election cycles, request meetings with them while they are in office, and demand they are doing their jobs in ways that truly benefit your family and community. They work for you! Advocacy is important for your family because it helps bring voice to issues that may go unseen. Additionally, advocacy can be a family affair and a great way to engage your children who are not old enough to vote.
Reason #5: Because Not Voting Is A Privilege
It is hard to recognize our own privilege, but it’s important to understand how you compare to others. The truth is, if you do not feel compelled to vote because the issues at stake do not impact you or your family, then you are privileged. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot of privilege, and by default, my son will experience more privilege than I did growing up. This isn’t to call you out and being privileged does not make you a bad person. How you decide to use your privilege is what makes the difference. If you find yourself in a place of privilege, then vote for those who are not as fortunate as yourself. Vote and advocate for those families who will be impacted by the issues at hand. That is how you use your privilege to make a difference.
- 10/17: Early voting begins
- 10/20: Last day to request absentee ballot
- 10/17: Recommended last day to return absentee ballot by mail
- 10/31: Early voting ends
- 10/31: Last day to register to vote at County Clerk’s Office
- 11/3: Election Day
Election Tips and Resources
- Know your registration status
- Find a polling location
- View 2020 candidates
- Understand your voting rights and report voting issues
2020 has been a contentious year. Moms are working from home, schooling our children at home, and simply trying to survive. We are all exhausted, but let’s muster up our fading energy to get out and vote!