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Moms Can End This ‘Toddler Tantrum’ with Our Votes

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner | November 3, 2020

Reckless. Prone to tantrums. Self-centered. No regard for the health of others. Does the opposite of what experts recommend when told ‘no,’ just because. Tells fantastical lies.

This is the type of behavior moms expect from a child in the throes of the “Terrible Twos,” not a president. Thankfully, and despite being pulled in what feels like a hundred thousand different directions, moms are taking charge. We’re voting at historic levels, understand the value of a good time out, and are saying enough is enough.

You see, as moms are facing unprecedented challenges, we are also paying close attention even though we are juggling more and stretched thinner than ever before. We’re trying to raise our children to be responsible, caring people, despite having a national leader who is anything but. We’re trying to keep our jobs and care for our kids whose child care programs have shuttered and whose schools are operating only virtually. We’re trying to care for our parents, some of whom are terrified to leave their homes. And moms across our nation are also trying to make ends meet on budgets that are stretched beyond the breaking point while simultaneously being disproportionately pushed out of the labor force.

At this point, a lot of us are acknowledging the obvious, that we simply can’t do it all. We need transformative change. And we’re making that change happen.

No question, the pandemic is having an outsized impact on women and moms, with women of color experiencing compounded harms due to structural racism. Last month, 865,000 women were pushed out of the labor force. Compare that to about 216,000 men. Of the 865,000 women who left the workforce in September, 58,000 were Black women and 324,000 were Latinas. One study found that 1 in 3 moms may be forced to scale back or out of the jobs their families — and our economy — depend on.  And even with all these added strains, pressures, and pulls, moms are still reaching out to their elected officials by the hundreds of thousands urging legislative reform; as well as volunteering in record numbers to help get out the vote to create the change we need.

The pandemic has turned the cracks in our systems into catastrophes. We need paid leave and sick days, a boost in unemployment insurance and an unemployment insurance system that works. We need a stable child care system that offers quality, affordable child care. We need reliable health care that covers all of us, including those with pre-existing conditions. We need criminal justice reform. And now more than ever, we need more adequate food and nutrition assistance, support for cities, and to include immigrants in all these essential programs. Most of that is included in the HEROES Act, passed by the House of Representatives but languishing, for months, in the Senate. We need real solutions moving forward.

By stepping forward to vote, volunteer, and speak out, we can (and will!) elect leaders who are committed to these policies and are on the side of moms, not big corporations or violent white supremacists. We can (and will!) build a future where everyone can thrive. Let’s remember that right now, while President Trump was being treated by top-notch doctors for COVID-19, moms and family members were suffering at home without medicine because they lost their jobs and could not afford the copays — and more than 210,000 people have died. We need a change.

The moms of America have had enough. We know the signs of a toddler who needs a timeout — and we know it’s time to vote President Trump out of office. Moms are rising to the challenge. We’re volunteering to get out the vote in record numbers and demanding action by the hundreds of thousands from the U.S. Senate on COVID-19 relief. Together we can be a powerful, unstoppable force — one that changes history on November 3 and opens doors for us to create a better future. Let’s do this.

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