A few weeks ago, I re-posted one of those hilarious e-cards onto my Facebook wall. It read “All of my friends are posting intense political rants on Facebook, and I’m just over here like, “Hey, I made pancakes!” While this ecard implies total apathy regarding politics, it resonated what goes through my head on a daily basis as a mother. It highlighted the importance in celebrating the little things, like the daily successes of getting my kids through the day. I re-posted it because that day in particular I felt like I just had way too much on my plate to rant about politics. I was just too darn busy making sure that my kids got breakfast. That day in particular, I felt like I was just getting by and frankly, on that day, I could care less about who to vote for.
There are a lot of political rants not just on Facebook but also out in the world. The political flyers are clogging up the mailbox. The phone rings relentlessly with political candidates voicing their views. But all the ranting on Facebook and elsewhere has not gone unnoticed by me. While many days I may be too busy to rant, I am not ignorant to the issues facing our country.
I believe that just because I am busy with my kids, isn’t an excuse to not care about what is at stake in an election year. I would argue that it is primarily because of my kids I have even more reason to vote the way I vote. Because I care about their future is why I want to know whom and what is on that ballot.
Talking about politics is tricky. In the short few words I’ve already expressed, perhaps I’ve gotten someone’s panties all up in a twitch. There seems to be a lot of intolerance during an election year. The snarkiness quota has surely been met and I’ve seen all kinds of crazy being said. I will never understand why people can’t express their opinions without putting other people down or making them out to be “ignorant” or “stupid”.
I’m no saint; I’ve taken a step back in shock when I’ve learned the political leanings of some of my friends. I was surprised to see some friends “like” the page of candidate that I will not be voting for. But I am still friends with them because they are good, smart, wonderful people. I also appreciate that in this country we are fortunate to have the freedom to express different views. But I can understand why a lot of people don’t like the ranting. A lot of them believe that their political views are personal and should therefore be kept quiet. Perhaps they want to protect themselves from people who aren’t so tolerant.
Personally, I enjoy the political discussions, the banter, and especially the jokes. Just yesterday, I was in stitches over the commentary I was reading. I am very thankful that there are people who can be passionate about the issues and then voice their opinions loud and clear without being offensive. I’m glad that I have friends who are well versed in politics and I can learn from them.
But it can get overwhelming and tiring and pretty soon you just can’t wait to check those little boxes on your ballot and send it off in the mail. I look forward to the day when my phone stops ringing and the recycling bin gets less full. I just want to think less and check out by watching a really bad episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
I do care quite a bit about what happens on Election day and truth be told I have a lot of reading to do prior to casting my vote. Ultimately what I care about the most is celebrating the daily successes I have with my kids. I love giving myself a pat on the back for a day well done. A day when I have been patient with my kids, fed them a healthy breakfast, and sent them on their way with a hug. Those are the days that are meaningful to me; those are the days that matter. I think pancakes are important and on some days they matter more than what “so-and-so” said in the New York Times. That’s not apathy, that’s not ignorance, that’s just good mothering.