Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

Warning; There will be some political talk in this post. It will lean neither left, nor right, but there will be politics talked about. Yes, most of my writing content is primarily driven by all things mothering, whether that be dealing with raising boys or dealing with angst ridden teenagers, I try to intelligently and humorously cover the gamut of the ups and downs of raising children. But lo and behold, part of raising children does not mean ignoring your responsibility as a woman who holds a voter registration card.

The random day my ovaries decided to function, and nine months later someone handed me a new human, they didn’t subsequently take away my right to vote, nor did my critical thinking skills get sucked out along with breast milk. No, I am not that same naive 18-year old-girl, holding a voter’s I.D. card in  my hand, and thinking about the issues that concern only me. I am far from it. At age 43, I am in a much different place politically, and I am no longer voting about issues that concern me, but about issues that will concern my children and grandchildren.

It is no secret this summer has been one for the record books. We have seen unprecedented violence across our country,  huge racially ignited protests in every major city, anger fueled citizens who have lost hope in civility demanding action, and an almost unrecognizable feeling of doom and gloom concerning this fall’s presidential election wafting through the air.

Who do you think feels this the most?

I mean,  feels it right down to their tired bones, while they are rocking an infant or sending off their kid to college, who  do you think feels this loss of hope the most?

Mothers.

You. Me. Our moms. Our grandmothers. We feel this brutally divided country right in the core of our hearts, and it scares the heck out of us. I know it does me. I am scared for my future, my children’s future, and their children’s future. Will this country still be around in 10, 20, 30 years if the infighting and vitriol is basically all we have to agree on?

If you’re reading this, you’re clearly using social media. You’ve chosen to use it for many reasons, to stay in touch with old friends and family, to keep up with personal interests and hobbies, and for many of us, it is also where we get our news. But these last couple  of months, social media has become a whole new animal.

It has been the summer of unfollow, block, unlike, and unfriend.

When did we as mothers become so completely unable to pull our big girl panties up and live in harmony with those that have a different set of political beliefs than us? When did  political strife on social media force mothers to morph into 7th graders at  cheer tryouts? “OMG, did you see that cartwheel? She. Is. Awful. She cannot be one of us.”  “What is she wearing? Is she kidding? Who DOES THAT?”  “I think the cheer she picked is stupid, and she must be too.”  “She can’t be serious hanging out with that kind of friend. I’ve lost all respect for her.”

We talk about how disgraceful shame and judgment in the motherhood blogosphere is. We beg for it to stop. We abhor the rude and hateful comments made to the formula feeding mom, to the free-range mom, to the helicopter mom, to the unwed mom, to all of those moms that parent differ from us. We accept all the mothers for who they are, no matter how different they parent than us, but when it comes to their politics? Out come the fangs.

How about we use language that is more accepting and tolerant of that 7th grade cheerleader we think we must “hate.” “That is not something I would pick, but I support her being her trying out,” or, “I agree her stunts could use help, but it’s the same stunts I do, so we have that in common.” And maybe, “I bet if we worked together, we could help each other reach our final goal, being on the same team.”

Different people, working in harmony, on the same team. Isn’t  that what we all want?

Attention all mothers from all walks of life, all shapes, ages,  races, ethnicities, and religions, I want to be on your team, and I want you on my team. That team is not left, right, center, or independent. It is all of them together, reaching across the aisle, and fighting with all our might to get down to the business of finding out what we do agree on, getting back to our fundamental believe systems, and realizing when it comes down to it, we all agree on the same core principles. Let me repeat that, before you hate and shame another mother for her steadfast politics, reach out to her to see what core principles you share.

I have friends I’ve loved for over 20 years, who are as politically polar opposite to me as they come. We don’t agree on one single issue politically, but we have a mutual respect for each other as mothers that is held in such high degree, that there has never, nor will there ever be, an angry political argument between us. I don’t look at her, or any other mother who leans the opposite of how I lean, as less than, ignorant, scary, uneducated, or clueless. I also don’t try to bring her over to my side, or pressure her, or exclude her from my group because she is not one of us. I would never want another mother’s self esteem and personal right of conscience to be undermined by intolerance. We are both mothers, we care about this country’s future, and we can agree we both want the same thing for this country, for it to still be around and thriving for our grandchildren.

Mothers are the backbone of this country. We always have been, and we always will be. We may have huge careers and be in the spotlight working in politics helping to run it, or we may be at home going to playdates and making dinner, but dammit, we are the backbone. Period. We need to somehow start coming together, to stop immaturely unfollowing and un-liking, bitching, moaning, and complaining to all that which we don’t agree with, and replace that with, “I may not agree with you on that point, but what is one thing we can agree on?” 

We need to work together to get to that point, to get to a starting point, to be able to have grown up, mature, and civil conversations, and then see where it takes us.

We both need to bend, or we’re both gonna break.

Because I’ll tell you what the opposite of that looks likes, it looks like this summer.

It looks like a bunch of women who lack integrity, grace, and understanding, and are on a rampage to pick a side and stay there.

I, for one, will not pick a side and stay there. If I am the first mom to walk across to the other political side to meet my fellow mother, and if I am all alone, then so be it. If it means there is still a great American around when my grandkids are having kids, then you better believe I will stand there and wait for another mother to meet me. At this point, it’s the only choice I have.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Melissa Fenton

Melissa Fenton is a freelance writer, adjunct librarian, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Awareness Ambassador. She writes at http://www.4boysmother.com/. Her writing can be found all over the internet, but her work is mostly on the dinner table.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading