On Saturday, Jan. 21, women across the nation – and world – participated in a grassroots movement that caught the attention of people around the globe. Women traveled to D.C. to march on the National Mall, gathered in their hometowns or expressed their support via social media.
I had friends and family members participate, but I did not march. On Saturday morning, as everyone waved fancy signed and took selfies with matching pink beanie’s, I was sitting in a town hall meeting listening to my state legislators talk about proposals and bills being put before their committees and the governor. I was one of only four women at the event and the only participant under the age of 35. I attend these meetings whenever possible because from them I gain knowledge, understanding and a relationship with my congressman.
After the meeting, I returned home to take care of my two little boys – ages 3 and 1 – who both were not feeling well and needed snuggles and hugs. I washed dirty clothes, made supper and played on the floor. That night I enjoyed a simple dinner with my family and lost a few hours of sleep rocking a baby with a fever. As a mother, I have an obligation to raise boys who respect women, who understand that things won’t always go their way and to show them unconditional love and support to allow them to chase their dreams. Nothing I did Saturday was Earth-shattering or life-changing but it made a difference in my family’s lives and those simple actions and routines will have a more substantial impact in my sons’ lives than any president or piece of legislation ever will.
Like any woman, daughter, mother and sister, I want to feel supported, included, equal and optimistic. I’ve had my failures and successes, my triumphs and tribulations. But I can’t blame any of it on the President nor will much of my everyday life be substantially impacted by the person residing in the White House. I control my destiny and I can chose to take challenges head on or stand on the side and blame others.
I work everyday to make my life, my family and my world a better place. But I don’t believe marching is the way to enact change. Instead I believe relationships with lawmakers, comments to proposed legislation and participation in any and every election possible is the most effective way to see your opinion heard and issues addressed.
I don’t want a president who gives handouts and protections. I want a president who helps grow our economy, which means more jobs and opportunities for women. I want a Congress that enacts legislation that allows small businesses to thrive and grow and a government that puts an emphasis on the safety of my life and my country.
For all of the women who chose to march, I encourage you to put that energy into getting to know your legislators, becoming active in your local and state political organizations and attending town hall meetings with law makers. Sure marches are fun and provide great photo ops but nothing is more powerful than consistent involvement and participation in the process.