This coming Sunday, kids across the country will make handmade cards, cook up a breakfast in bed, and try to tiptoe around the house to let our precious mommas get a bit more sleep. It’s the day of the year we celebrate the hard-working, loving, ever-giving matriarch of the family, Mother’s Day!
Moms have been the eye in the storm of COVID, navigating online school, working from home, caring for elderly parents, finding TP or hand wipes when shelves were emptied. Moms have also been a force to be reckoned with politically, fiercely advocating for our kids to be back in school, in sports, with their friends.
And it certainly has taken its toll, especially for working moms in Colorado.
At the end of 2020, over 20,000 Colorado working moms left the labor force, enough to fill Ball Arena. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women have accounted for 55% of job losses.
To top it off, Colorado has the eighth-most-expensive child care in the nation.
It didn’t have to be this way. Our politicians have hurt more than helped with their bad policy decisions here.
The women of Colorado are recognizing that the decisions made at all levels of our society have a direct impact on them and their families. Women, especially moms, know they can’t stand on the sidelines anymore, we need to raise our hand and be the change we want to see in society, in government.
Moms have something very unique to offer. For most of us, we may not be soldiers on the front lines in the Middle East, but we are soldiers, nonetheless, fighting for our children’s future.
Our government is broken; it constantly breaks its promises. Moms don’t do that.
What do moms have that the government doesn’t have? We have the most primal, fundamental, instinctual force on the earth. We have the “unbreakable promise.” The promise of a mom for her family. The “unbreakable promise” that says I will always stand up for you. The “unbreakable promise” that says I will go to the ends of the earth for you. That I will never stop fighting for you. The “unbreakable promise” that says I will put my life on the line for you. Period. No questions asked.
The “unbreakable promise” means to us moms that we have to act. We have to use our voice, our vote, and our volunteering to stand up for our children.
For the first time in the history of America, young people are worse off than TWO, not just one but TWO, generations ago. Fifty-five percent of parents believe our children’s America has its best days BEHIND us.
Abraham Lincoln said, a “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” Well, my friends, we ARE the people. We ARE the government. And as Margaret Thatcher said, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”
Women are the agents of change, especially when multiplied by millions. Together, we make the biggest difference. And we make that difference by starting with what we know, how to protect our kids.
There are so many threats to healthy families: teen suicide, internet predators, child abuse, our failing education system, drugs, school shooters, our broken family court system.
Strong families create healthier and safer environments, so it’s up to us, not the flawed legal, political, and economic systems we find ourselves in, to be our own watchdogs.
Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
The “unbreakable promise” is an individual commitment of the highest order. It’s a truth bigger than any other a parent can have. Now just imagine what happens when we multiply this much force … this much intent ... this much purpose, all standing together, all taking on the toughest issues our kids face. Forcing transparency. Forcing accountability. Forcing action for our children’s future.
It’s time to take back the responsibility for keeping our kids safe and making our state great for them again. The government isn’t doing it. The politicians aren’t doing it. The schools aren’t doing it. Society isn’t doing it.
But Moms? We do it every day.
This Sunday let’s celebrate more enthusiastically than ever before the moms in our lives who have stared down COVID and its consequences on our families and shepherded us through with flying colors. Cheers, Mommas!
Heidi Ganahl is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, author and at-large member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, to which she was elected as a Republican in 2016.