Most afternoons around 3 o'clock I find myself in the pick-up line at school. Yesterday afternoon I found myself standing in the security line to enter the Indiana Statehouse. Most afternoons I have an appointment with the stove, or maybe with some little person that needs their bottom wiped. Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment with the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana, Becky Skillman. So you could say that yesterday wasn't your typical afternoon for me, but it was very, very cool.
Lt. Governor Skillman wanted to meet with Hoosier Mom Bloggers, and so thanks to the efforts of her press secretary, Rachel Sorvig, and Cheri Lowe, one of Indiana's true blogging treasures, 27 of us from around the state sat in her office and had a chance to say whatever was on our minds. Needless to say, an hour wasn't nearly enough time for all of us to share our stories, concerns, and questions from our readers. But speaking for myself, I was so grateful that the Lt. Governor took time out of her busy schedule to listen to us.
So often I think we, as mothers, feel invisible. Maybe we are so mired in the tasks of care-taking that we feel out of the loop on current events. Maybe we are pulled in so many directions that it can often feel as if we're just treading water, without the energy to stand up and make ourselves heard. Or maybe we've had the experience of trying to speak up, only to be shunned or ignored.
I found myself among a group of diverse women: stay-at-home mothers and mothers who work outside the home, mothers of children with special needs, mothers who've struggled with depression and infertility, mothers who've found themselves with inadequate health insurance to meet the needs of their families, rural mothers, urban mothers. We were not invisible. We were heard. Amid the varied concerns and questions that were shared, the final conclusion was this:
We, as mothers and writers and citizens, have power. We have the power of our vote. We have the power of this great online community we've created to rally behind causes that matter to us. We have the power of our words to make ourselves heard. We are most certainly not invisible.
For those of you who shared your questions or concerns with me, I will be contacting you personally to let you know what the Lt. Governor had to say. Thank you for your participation – it was an honor to represent you.