*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
In generations before it was most common for the father of the home to go off to work and the mother to stay home, raising the family. Raising a family is important work. It is, in fact, the most important work a human being can do. Gone are the days when it was feasible for most families for one parent to stay home. To provide for a family in the twenty-first century, it is almost always the case that both parents must work outside the home.
Before I had children, I always imagined I would work outside the home. I would be a doctor or a lawyer – or something “important” like that. I would have a nanny who would care for my children, clean my house and prepare our dinners. Needless to say, when I become a mother for the first time at age 21 I was neither a doctor nor lawyer, nor did I have a nanny. I became a single mother when my daughter was just a year old. I was working full time and my baby girl was in a home daycare – with good people, but not with her mom.
I went on to later have 3 more children – a son followed by twin girls. I became a single mom again when my twins were just 2, my 3 youngest were all in childcare or before/after school care and my middle schooler, a “latch key kid.” I worked full time, I owned a business and life as a single mom and entrepreneur was crazy, if not chaotic, most of the time.
As the result of a family trauma, I had to close my business and was in full time “mom mode.” My kids were in crisis and my life needed to revolve around them and their needs. And I was fine with that. A few years passed by and things started to settle down with my kids and I became restless. I felt a strong desire to be doing something more “important.” Building a business…or something. I remember driving to the gym in the dark, early one winter morning, talking to God asking Him when it was going to be my turn again. When was He going to use me for something “important?”
I don’t know about you – if you believe in God or not – or if God talks to you, what it sounds like or looks like but the voice in my head that was absolutely not mine, but God’s said:
You are doing the most important work I will ever give you to do. Protecting your children, being there for them and raising them is the important job I have for you.
In that moment at 4:30am, God put me in my place. It was a game changing moment for me. I had been so restless and anxious to “get on with it” but I was right where God had wanted me all along.
I admit, until 2016 I really hadn’t paid any attention to politics or our government. But once my eyes were opened when Trump came on the scene, I couldn’t unsee what I saw and I couldn’t stop digging for more truth. I am well aware that we are where we are today because moms like me gave authority to childcare providers, teachers, school administrators. I dropped my kids off in the morning and picked them up after work to feed them dinner, give them a bath and put them to bed. I was hardly the most influential person in my children’s lives. I own that. We have to own it if we are going to fix it.
But it’s not too late. It’s never too late. Not until Jesus calls me home. And I’ve spent enough time beating myself up over the years I spent not paying attention to what was going on in our country or not thoroughly reviewing the curriculum my children were being taught in school. There’s no sense in feeling guilt or shame about what we did in the past. We’re here now and we’ve got work to do! So forgive yourself and get on with it!
I believe God has called us women to RISE UP for a time such as this. I believe we are here on purpose, for a purpose. The uprising I see in women – not just mothers, women as a collective – is nothing short of inspiring. The bear has been poked and women all over this country are awake and they are not going to back down.
Women have always been a very important part of the formation of our country and our American values. All throughout history, women have played a critical role. Now is no different. We are living in a time when strong women need to stand up for what is good and right for ourselves and for our families. Ladies, it is our time to rise up and be the change this world needs.
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