What The Federal Government Taught Me About Motherhood

 Note from Kat: This is a post from my friend and monthly contributor, Liz Griffin.

IMG_8361-1 Meetings on the Hill with Jady

A few weeks ago I packed up my bags, took my husband Jady and boarded a plane to Washington DC. This sounds so posh to say, but I had some meetings with Congressional offices to talk about human trafficking and ways to combat it here in the United States. Perhaps at this point you are totally bewildered about who I am and why in the world I would be doing this? You can get filled in here where I talk about being a Naptime Abolitionist.

The first thing that struck me when we entered into the various congressional buildings was how shiny the floors were. Seriously, they were gleaming. I’d pay money to know what they use on those suckers because I need to buy it. Only a mom would notice things like that.

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Meeting with Congressman Flores…and do you see how shiny the floor is???

Once I got over the sparkling tiles, I allowed myself to soak in the power of where I was. This place is arguably one of the most influential few square miles on the planet. And here I was, a stay-at-home mom, sharing my ideas with them. I’m guessing this is where the whole “foolish things to shame the wise” verse comes into play.

We met with various organizations, legislative directors, and chiefs of staff. I was really nervous at first. These people had degrees and credentials plastered on their office walls. I hold a bachelor’s degree in political science, which basically qualifies me to drive a bus in DC.

The more we dialogued about the problem with jurisdiction of agencies, financial implications, or bipartisan challenges, the more comfortable I felt. Not because I have degrees in economics and experience drafting legislation, but because I talk about these things in my living room with my kids almost every day.

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The nature of the conversation was political, but it could be boiled down to sharing, having compassion and how to prefer others over ourselves. These are the principles I was talking about with politicians and it is what I talk about with my kids.

Walking through the streets in DC it was very tempting to pass buildings like the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Justice or the Center for Disease Control and feel like “those” people are the movers and shakers. The ones who are responding to the big issues and needs of our day.

My meetings in Washington taught me something though.

Social reform starts in our living rooms as we teach our kids how to engage the world around them. —> click to tweet

I don’t have to work in those fancy buildings to address issues of international importance…

Teaching my kids to read. Education reform.

Helping them learn how to save their money. Fiscal responsibility.

Training them to stand up for a bullied classmate. National defense.

Feeding them healthy food & teaching them the value of exercise. Healthcare reform.

Learning to work through & resolve conflict. Bipartisanship. 

The list goes on…

I am thankful for all those in public service for their work to address very real and significant issues. However, I am acutely aware of how directly I can influence those things as I raise my kids and teach them how to live their lives.

So mammas, maybe you deal with feeling like other people are doing the big & important work. I just met with those “other” people and they are, in many ways, trying to make up for what didn’t happen in living rooms.

As you break up another fight today, make another meal, and annoy your kids at the grocery store by taking forever to compare prices — know this. You are doing something of national importance. Transforming the world from our minivans is what we moms do best. Go get ‘em ladies.

Do you ever feel like “other” people do the important work?  Join the discussion and share your thoughts! Click here to join the discussion!

 

20130218-193106.jpgElizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband and two little kids. Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car & browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on twitter @larkandbloom.

 

Comments

  1. I just love this, Liz. (And those shiny floors are quite amazing.) I pray blessings over you and all God has you doing to defend the fatherless and stand in the gap for the voiceless.

  2. I love this! Thanks for reminding of what I already know (but sometimes forget) the importance of mothers and the power that we have!

  3. I love this! It’s good to be reminded of the far-reaching influence we have as mothers.

    Side note- The incredible ladies you are standing in front of are Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott. I highly recommend watching Ken Burn’s American Lives Series, Episodes 1 & 2, to learn more about them. It will inspire you!

  4. Gale Croft says:

    Those ladies are Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. If it were not for those ladies none of us modern ladies would have any rights. There are many resources online to educate you and your family including a very well made PBS documentary. Their life stories are inspiring and motivating for naptime abolitionists such as yourself! I hope you find the time to drink in the history of suffrage in the United States.

    • Gale, they are AMAZING women for whom I am very grateful. I just couldn’t remember which ones were on this statue because I forgot to take a photo of the plaque. Thanks for letting me know. Their lives are so inspiring!

  5. I love this post – but I have to admit, it makes me feel sad and jealous at the same time. I know how important being a mom is and how much of an influence moms have over their kids, and I would love nothing more than to make a difference in the world *through* and *with* my kids – except I don’t have kids. I may never have kids, since I may have PCOS, and I’m beginning to wonder if I’m ever even going to get married. I know I’m only 22, and I have a little brother and a little sister, and I guess that’s something, but being a mom would be so much more powerful than what I do now – and I don’t even know for sure that I have that amazing future of influence through motherhood to look forward to.

    Be grateful for your kids, moms of the world – there’s at least one lonely college student somewhere in the world who wishes more than anything that she had what you had.

    • Brittany – First, thanks for the reminder to us moms that there is always someone who wants to be in our shoes…even on our hard days.

      Second, I have several friends with PCOS and I know it can present a very unsure future when it comes to kids. ( they all have kids now FYI ) Like you said, you are 22 so there is still lots of time for marriage and children ahead. If that isn’t God’s plan then He will provide a way for you to “mother” others if that is whats in your heart. Don’t be discouraged Brittany! You never know what God has up His sleeve for you.

  6. Wow. I absolutely agree and love this post SO much. I’m not a stay at home mom, and I deal with the “movers and shakers” regularly. But that’s not where my influence is most important. Thank you for this important message.

  7. i have goosebumps.
    thank you.
    it’s so hard to remember that what i’m doing with my little ones matters very much at all when the whole world says “those people out there” are doing such a greater work.
    thanks for the reminding. i needed it today.

    • Jill, it is so hard to remember the value of what we do day in and day out with our little ones. Moments like this one serve as such a great reminder. The “ordinary” moments we spend with our kids have a profound impact. Way to change the world mama!

  8. As a mother and a teacher, I absolutely love this article!! Teachers and administrators and even the people in Washington DC can only do so much. It all starts with the parents at home!

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