Here in Utah, I am a Democrat in a Republican state. I am a nonreligious person in a predominantly LDS community. I am a mother of a special needs child. I am a stay-at-home mom in the age of the working woman. I have spent years feeling isolated. I started this channel to find other people that might feel the same as I do. This video is a little more about me.
After the election of Donald Trump, I found that my husband and I lived on different planets. The more we talked about social issues and politics the further apart we drifted. I decided that it was time to take a different approach with him. I listened, I asked questions and I highlighted examples from our own lives, many having to do with our autistic child, illustrating why I feel the way I do. After a year of constant discussion, we have found each other again.
I truly believe that if everyone can use a little more empathy, look up and see what others are going through everything would be a lot better. My goal is to encourage people to lean left to create a society that is more inclusive, more empathetic and safer for all.
It is time to come out of hiding. My goal is to empower you: the silent observer. To provide knowledge to every American man, woman, and child who has an opinion but has been falsely convinced that they don’t know enough about politics to be allowed to share it. Abandon that belief. You are an American. Your voice matters. Rise up and stand for what is right. For family. For justice. For equality and humanity. This blog is for you. And together, our strong collective voices can change this world for the better.
I haven’t always been a political person. It all happened after I had kids, particularly a special needs child. It started when I first became a stay-at-home mom. I was surprised with how disconnected I felt from society. My husband and I drifted apart due to the fact that our lives were so different. I felt like I didn’t have much to talk about other than how many diapers I had changed or what my kids had done that day. I began to feel irrelevant to him and others. ‘I’m just a stay-at-home mom’ I would say.
One day I decided it had to be different. I wanted my relationship back. I wanted to keep my brain sharp. I didn’t want to lose myself in the all consuming problems that happen in motherhood or special needs parenting. I decided I would start following the news. I would read books about relevant issues with the sole motivation of bringing something more to the table. What I found was that it was very fulfilling to learn about new things all the time. I ached for more. I gained confidence in myself and started to recover the woman I once was pre-kids.
I also found myself forming opinions about issues that I never predicted I would. Healthcare being the biggest one. I found myself debating internally about what party I identified with. I started by figuring out what my guiding principles in my life were. What guides my moral compass? How do I decide what’s wrong and right? I wrote a lot, thought about my kids a lot, I talked to my husband about what we want our kids to walk away with when their grown. I came to realize that the guiding principle that I want to lead my life with are empathy.
Taking a walk in someone else’s shoes is the key to having a cohesive family and society. I broke down the top 5 values that I want my kids to embody in order to attain that guiding principle.
Integrity, be honest and trustworthy
Inclusiveness, work hard to find common ground with others and understand we are all on different paths
Compassion/Empathy, understand that people cannot pick the hand they are dealt and can use support
Team oriented, other people’s successes matter
Justice, everyone deserves equal and fair treatment, be willing to stand for what’s right.
After solidifying my personal moral compass I began running issues through the model. For example, what would I want if I had a child with autism or cancer or some other health problem that is extraordinarily expensive? I would want a program to make it possible for my child to get the healthcare they need, i.e. expanded Medicaid coverage, insurance for all. DACA is another example. What would I want if my children were noncitizens because I brought them here? I wouldn’t want them to suffer for my sins so I would want them to have a path to citizenship.
I work hard learning about all kinds of divisive issues. I find that if I take an empathetic approach I find the answer that is right for me. At this point I realized that my principles align with that of the Democratic party. I quickly figured out that I’m in a minority where I live so looking for ways to find common ground has become part of my daily thought process. I am figuring out how important it is to listen and ask questions rather than fact drop and debate. I’m hopeful that over time I will figure out solid ways for me to bridge the gap between me and people I love when it comes to issues that are important to me. I’m hopeful that starting this blog will help others do the same.
I’m losing my mind. Everywhere I look it’s a mess. There’s crumbs and crackers on the ground, there’s toys everywhere, there’s milk cups strewn on every level and in the van. The curtains brackets have been pulled out of the walls, there’s a big white board blocking the front window, burnt out lights throughout the house. There’s laundry piled up despite having spent the whole day doing laundry two days ago. The garbage cans are exploding because I finally broke down all the cardboard from Christmas and stuffed it in the cans. There’s rice all over the floor from the sensory bucket that Oliver uses. The pantry and the fridge are cluttered and yet we have no food. I don’t know where to begin tackling all this. I’m constantly cleaning, picking up after people and doing laundry and I am still standing in this mayhem. The anxiety that I have built up about is spraying out at Mark and the boys. I’m short with them and very irritable. Why do I do this to myself? Other people keep on top of things. Why can’t I?
It’s so funny how things happen. Just about an hour after I got done typing that top paragraph, I was dropping Oliver off at school. I heard a mom say she has a bunch of sensory toys at her house. When I hear ‘sensory toys’ my ears prick up because I assume she has a child on the spectrum. So I asked her. She said she’s got twin boys on the spectrum and suspects her other son is also. We chatted a bit after the drop off about her life. I’ve got to say, it’s really humbling to listen to another person’s life. She talked about the struggles she has with each of her children. She talked about how she can’t take her kids anywhere because of the anxiety each of them have. She talked about how she’s not doing enough to help them along, specifically teaching her younger son the alphabet. She talked about the other struggles her family has had like 2 deaths in the family and other mental health issues her relatives struggle with. She’s had three surgeries in the past year. I was so impressed to hear her talk about how she’s trying to change her attitude by focusing on her health. She laughed as she stretched her legs from being sore from exercise. I let her know that she’s doing a great job and it sounds like she’s a really invested mom. I walked back in my house thoughtful about what I had just heard. It’s so easy to get sucked into my own world. It’s so easy to feel like my problems are all encompassing. I’m glad I got a chance to talk to someone else for a while. Hopefully she feels a bit better too. I just realized I didn’t ask for her name.