EDITORIAL NOTE: This guest blog post was written by Amy Hjerstedt, member of the Leauge of Women Voters of Eastern Upper Peninsula
I’m a mom of two boys and life can get busy at times with a three year old and a six year old. Throw an active military husband’s duty schedule in the mix, and life gets downright hectic. As a mom trying to connect with other parents, there are many groups to choose from. However, as a military spouse, few parents and local group members understand the military lifestyle my family lives. On a similar note, few military families seem to want to get involved with local organizations or their local government since they know they are generally only stationed in a location for one to four years.
But this is one of many reasons why this mom chooses the League. As a mom I use a variety of public resources, such as schools, libraries, parks, sidewalks and bike paths. All of these resources are maintained by our government and paid by taxpayers like you and me. As a taxpayer and active user, I want a say in how these public spaces are funded and maintained. The League is the place that gives me a starting point to learn and then to grow my understanding about how I can have a voice in how these resources are best served for the community I live in.
Fellow League moms, both those with kids at home and those with an empty nest, understand the need and importance to connect with government and politics. They appreciate conversations about local, state and national issues. League moms will roll up their sleeves when work needs to get done in their communities. Each community I move to, the local League has warmly welcomed my family and me. They’ve helped to inform me about local resources, government services and upcoming events, and they are always eager to help me find a new and interesting volunteer role. And of course, one of the many things I appreciate about all local Leagues is how they all care about voters taking an active role in government and community, which is a humbling aspiration for this mom.
League moms know how good government will give our kids a stronger future that is more representative of their values. And we also know our kids are watching us, through our involvement our children know what it means to be a citizen who is Making Democracy Work® through active citizen participation in our government. Being a role model of engaged citizenship is one of the most important gifts League Moms teach their children, and is why I choose the League. I’m also proud to be involved with an organization that is working to help educate everyone in our community, making our elections more fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens.
On this Mother’s Day, I'd like to reflect on what it means to be both a mother and a League mom. More than that, this special day is the day to honor all of the moms who balance motherhood with being an active citizen, therefore ensuring our kids – and our communities – have the tools they need to be smart voters and active participants in our democracy. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, and a special thank you to all the League moms!
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