Updated: Jul 27, 2020
I don't know about you, but I find parenting to be nothing like I imagined. The sheer amount of work. The unexpected wackiness. The exhaustion. The deep knowledge that most days I have NO IDEA what I'm doing! It's no wonder I ended up taking a deep dive into parenting as part of my research. And all that knowledge simply left me more questions:
What is my responsibility as a parent?
Is it OK to only consider the needs of my own children?
Does my parenting have impact on other children? On the community? On the schools? (positive? negative? none?)
These are strange and anxiety-filled times. COVID, George Floyd (and every other George over the past 400 years), students without the ability to engage with remote learning and every other injustice have brought out my "radical mom-ness" - the part of me that stands up and says, "this is absolutely, 100% not acceptable". If a first grader cannot behave this way, if high school students are not allowed to treat people this way, then neither can adults, and neither should our society permit this.
As a human being, I have responsibilities beyond my own children, family and backyard. I've come to terms with something I've suspected for awhile... my parenting decisions don't simply impact my family. Instead, they ripple out into the community (local, state and beyond) and impact other families and other children - for better and also for worse.
And so - I'm committing to taking a community view of parenting. I'm trying to parent with equity in mind. I'm going to put my radical mom-ness to work for all kids. Here's my pledge:
I will pay attention to where, when and how I have a bigger voice and more power. I accept the responsibility to wield my voice and power thoughtfully, ethically and with attention to the greater good (locally, state and more).
Because my voice is easily heard, I will let go and make space for others to be heard and for other ideas to emerge.
I will take care of all children alongside my own children through awareness of the needs of the community and the knowledge that my actions are not neutral.
I understand that parenting for all children results in a stronger future for everyone