With Mother's Day approaching, I find myself thinking about what Mother's Day means: both for myself, and for the countless women who lead the fight for justice and parity for mothers and families within our society. Whether they are making headlines as a candidate running for office or simply serving as a leader within their organization or community, I am inspired by their commitment to putting caregiving and motherhood at the forefront of their work.
When I became the CEO of 270 Strategies, I knew that I wasn't just taking on a new position: I was also embracing a new style of leadership, and it was up to me to determine that leadership's impact and meaning to our clients and staff. So, where would parenthood fit into this equation?
Honestly, it's a constant challenge.
But, like mothers across the nation (and world), we make it work.
For me, this means that I do my best to make sure that, at the end of the day, I can eat dinner with my kids. It means talking about my kids at work, and talking to my kids about my work so that everyone knows the bigger picture about what I’m doing and why. It also means making sure that every mother or working parent has similar opportunities, and more.
This is why I am so proud of the work that we are doing at 270 Strategies every day to uplift women.
One example is our work with the 2020 Census. It can be challenging and confusing (and for some, potentially scary) to fill out the Census. In addition, it’s not commonly understood that you need to fill it out for the entire household, not just yourself. This is one of the reasons that children, particularly young children, are often undercounted. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and others are doing great outreach to hard-to-count communities, providing helpful resources on their Census Counts website.
Every child deserves opportunity and a fair shot. But all too often these days, we’re making short-term calls that have will long-term consequences. Just recently, the current administration has proposed new regulations that would impact access to school for low-income pre-schoolers. This will dismantle the Obama Administration regulations that expanded access to Head Start, which would negatively impact thousands of families. We need to do more to support young children to get the foundation they need for success in life — not less. It’s one more reason why I’m so motivated to keep working to support all families.
Finally, I am humbled by the many amazing women who have taught me so much about motherhood. At the top of that list are my fellow 270 partners who are also mothers — Lynda Trans, Betsy Hoover, and Lauren Kidwell.
So, this Mother’s Day, I want to say thank you to all of the mothers out there, biological, step-parents and the many others who we choose to fill that role in our lives, who continue to inspire through their actions, thoughts, and voices. The mothers who fight for a better future for our children and the children who are forgotten. The moms who have guided me through my choices and decisions and helped me every step of the way. Thank you, and Happy Mother’s Day to you.