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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On being a Revolutionary Mom

First, a story...
Once upon a time, a girl wanted to change the world. Before she got around to changing the world, she got married. Fast forward five years - she's got 2 kids, with a few more on the way, and wondering how in the world she's going to have any positive impact on anyone when she's so busy with this parenting business.
She got really discouraged. She started a blog about being a revolutionary mom. Truth be told, she didn't really even know what that meant, but by golly she was going to figure it out , and she was going to write about it in the process because, surely, she's not the first woman to ever feel this way. (Never mind how she was going to find time for said writing...that answer was as mysterious as figuring out what a revolutionary mom is.)
So, here I am. Sarah/Revolutionary Mom: Nose wiper. Dinner maker. Bleeding heart.
I've spent so much time soul searching and trying to figure out why my heart breaks for such big issues as slavery and environmental abuse. I have written a good bit about it, and you can find a list of those posts here.
While I adore my family and my job as a mom, I also feel pretty helpless at times. I mean, being a full time stay at home mom can feel pretty mundane and, well, small. I think there are two temptations when we feel the weight of it all:

Head for the hills

It is a very real temptation to go out and get a "real" job or go back to school. It will make us feel validated. It will help us feel like we matter. It will help us have a social life! For some families, that is a great answer, and for some it is the only answer. Not all moms are called to be stay at home moms, and some just don't have that option.
But for our family, we have that option, and Dennis and I mutually feel that it is the best choice for us - I just love being able to invest the bulk of my time into my family.

Hunker down and give up

This is the route that often leaves me feeling discouraged. Yeah, it's fun to daydream about going back to school and charging the rainforest rescuing child slaves. Many are the days when I think "Well, I'm going to all this trouble to cloth diaper, compost, recycle, buy used clothes and shop for fair trade coffee. What difference does it really make? Why am i making my life harder? I have every excuse to take the easy way out, and the world won't be that much better or worse off."

The truth is, I have no idea the impact I'm having on the world. I have this huge responsibility of shaping my children's worldview and if I "take the easy way out", they're never going to see their potential as revolutionaries in their own right. I've got to live by my convictions and trust that I'm part of something bigger. Way bigger.

Ok, so we've laid down that it's important to be a Revolutionary Mom, but that still doesn't answer the questions of "how"? How do we, as parents, find time and ways to be a positive example for our future revolutionaries? I've listed a few ways above, but how do we really embrace this idea of the "everyday revolution"?
This post has turned out to be pretty long, so check back soon for part 2 - practical ways to be a revolutionary and a mom.
Do you ever get discouraged by your limitations? How do you remind yourself that this job of parenting is important?

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