In the last week, I’ve read two separate articles speculating on who will be the “Soccer Moms” of the 2010 midterm elections. According to the Wall Street Journal (blogging about an NPR blog), the key voter group impacting the outcome will be the “weary working women” – women so tired from working and raising their families in these tough economic times that they won’t go out and vote. http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2010/10/04/the-rise-of-the-weary-working-women/
According to the Huffington Post, however, blogger mommies “hold the reins of destiny and control the future of our nation.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-wilson-keppler/mommy-bloggers-delighted-_b_740965.html
The truth is, however, (and as the Huffington Post blog suggests) that these are not two separate groups. The women who will influence the November 2010 midterm elections are the exhausted working moms who leave work early, pick up their kids at day care, bring the squirming, hungry toddlers to vote moments before the polls close and then go home and blog about it. Or, in other words, us.
There is no doubt that I am a weary working woman. I like my job and I like working, but I am SO tired. From the moment I wake up at 5:30 (ok, 5:45) I am on the go. I’m either getting myself or my kids ready to get out the door and on the way to school. And there is no room for error in our morning schedule. I take public transportation so we have to leave on time. Then, I work a day that requires me to account for my time in six-minute increments. With the pressure to bill a full eight-hour day in six-minute increments, we working moms don’t have time to peruse the internet or ponder who wore it best. I work as fast as I can as hard as I can with as few interruptions as possible. And then I go home, where I manage dinner and homework and baths and bedtime. And then, once the kids are finally in bed, I do the dishes, prepare for the next day and collapse.
But I’m also a blogger mom. I read (and now write) about working mom issues, and am at least somewhat in-tune with what’s going on in the world. And I’d like to see the government doing something – anything – to make things just a little bit easier for the working mom. Things like improving the economy. Implementing a health care plan that is better and affordable. Maybe addressing the skyrocketing cost of college.
It is precisely because I am both a weary working mom and a blogger mom that I should go out and vote. Weary working blogger moms are more than tired, stretched-too thin products of the feminist movement. We are intelligent, practical women who will be directly impacted by the results of the election and the subsequent legislation. We understand the issues and take time to consider all of the implications before adopting a position. We are the people whose voices should be heard.
And while exercising our right to vote doesn’t necessarily result in success for our particular candidate, we moms know that “we simultaneously control everything and nothing.” We may not control the state of the economy or the outcome of a particular election, but we can – and should - have a voice. We have an opportunity to demand change, and we should embrace it. We certainly can’t be too tired to ask for some help.