You, too? I know. I FEEL it. I see you. Shit is REAL real right now. Fighting the good fight is hard enough when you don't have kids to take care of and a life to maintain... It is very hard to be all of the things right now. Before November we were ALREADY tapped out. Now we must make room in an already INSANE schedule to stand up to a tyrannical autocracy while simultaneously holding ourselves back from running off to join the resistance.
We can RESIST and PARENT and LIFE all at once. Because, well, we have to.
Here are a few tips for Parenting in the time of Resistance. (And, yes. I am writing this as much for myself as for anyone else because I am a fucking MESS right now. On the outside I'm like FIST TO THE SKY/EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY! ONWARD! But on the inside? Disasterville.)
1. Make time. Start small. Join a group. We need you.
What is happening in our country right now DIRECTLY AFFECTS our children as well as ALL children so consider it another parenting duty to involve yourself (and your family) in whatever daily (or weekly!) action that calls to you. Phone calls to reps? Postcards? Setting up monthly donations? Participating in peaceful protest? Organizing local resistance groups and/or joining them? Hosting fundraising events? Bake sales? There are so many ways to get involved in action right now.
ED: If you don't think your children will be impacted by what this admin has planned, PLEASE think again. If parenting is about showing up for our kids, than resistance to an administration that caters to white supremacy, fear-mongering, Islamophobia, denounces scientific fact, environmental laws and FIRES those who are disagreeable (amongst like 797897 other things) is imperative and it's our responsibility to PROTECT and DEFEND each other. If five minutes a day is all you have? Great! You can make two calls in five minutes. Here is a list of ALL senators and their phone numbers. Tell them how you feel!
Everyone can commit to one at-home/in-office action a day (phone calls typically take 1-2 minutes) and one out-of-the-home action a month. (Community meeting/protest/volunteer work.)
The following is a list of groups to join and services that make it easy to take daily action.
- IndivisibleGuide.com - a practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda
- Dailyaction.org - sign up for mobile alerts that will direct you to daily action.
- actiongroups.net - connects you with likeminded activists in your area.
- 5Calls.org - spend 5 minutes, make 5 calls.
- Swingleft.org: find your closest swing district and join the team to learn about actionable opportunities as they become available.
You can also download the Call Your Reps app, here.
2. Divide and Conquer -- for our children's future
If you haven't already, sit down with your spouse/partner/co-parent and create a calendar of events you can attend separately AS WELL AS as a family. Hal and I are not participating in any of the same groups/action items (save for making phone calls) but we are covering for each other when, say, Hal has to attend a local meeting or I want to attend a protest, etc. Our goal is to work the system from both sides. His -- participating in local politics. Mine -- getting as loud as I can where I feel it necessary and important.
3. Include children in your activism. Invite them to come up with their own ways to actively engage in any/all GOOD fights. Bring them to marches. Invite them to make posters, give them the option to donate their money to charity. Include them in conversations about racism and Islamaphobia in age-appropriate ways. Model the importance of STANDING UP and SPEAKING OUT.
If we are going to make change, we have to start at home. Racism is something white parents need to be talking to their white children about. Islamophobia is something non-Muslim families need to talk to their children about.
I've read a lot from parents saying, "I want my kids to stay innocent for as long as possible! I'm not ready to talk to them about this stuff... It's too scary/hard/upsetting..." Copy that. I totally understand. But PLEASE also recognize that white people "not wanting to talk to their kids about what's going on" is part of the problem. Because here's the thing -- parents of black and brown children HAVE to talk to their children about "what's going on" because "what's going on" directly effects THEM.
"Protecting our kids and keeping them innocent," is what white privilege looks like. Let's not put white children's "innocence" before black and brown children's lives.
4. That said, do not fear monger.
It is important to be hyper-aware of what you're listening to (and watching) in front of your kids. Save NPR for times when you do not have small children in the car. Ask MANY questions about what THEY think is happening and what THEY can do to contribute positively... There are so many ways for children to participate whether its making posters to put in the windows, raising money a la lemonade stands/jewelry making/participating in marches/etc.
You can read my post in its entirety on Mom.me, here. xoxo to all.