One of my favorite things about living in Washington DC is learning how power is exercised in government and by whom. For those who don’t have this kind of access, the political process can seem remote and affecting change, hopeless. Your (Wo)Man In Washington empowers women with children by keeping them informed about policies and legislation that impact their quality of life and long-term financial security.
Mothers never rest; whether at home, at a paying job, in the car on the way to soccer practice, or cooking at 3 am for tomorrow’s bake sale, she is always busy. Our tendency to put our own needs at the bottom of our “to-do” list is lethal when it comes to exercising our political power. The only way to be heard is to speak up. We cannot eliminate the discrimination we face by spending our days taking care of others, exhausting ourselves and leaving no time in the schedule for self-care and advocacy.
A single mother with two minimum wage jobs and dicey childcare has neither money nor influence. A mother who manages to cobble together a crazy quilt of care solutions, with no work flexibility and no benefits, can ill-afford to rock the boat. Fathers need, but rarely get, the time to bond with a new child or fulfill more than the breadwinner role. Caregivers face numerous barriers with no paid sick days and no part-time worker parity. A woman who leaves the paid workforce may reduce her stress in the short-term, but pays a steep price later on when her Social Security benefit only rewards paid employment. These are not inevitable or necessary sacrifices – they are the result of outdated policies. They can and must be changed. The US is the only western, industrialized country where women become mothers without a guarantee of paid maternity leave. And it’s no wonder, given the meager representation of women in business and public office.
Washington is the perfect fishbowl, and I watch the science of human behavior – power, money, influence, language, ego, aspiration, expectation – play out. As an attorney, mother, and public policy analyst, I see relationships that other people might miss. I tell you what you need to know about how politics affect you as mother, caregiver, employee, business owner, and more. I share the inside scoop that is not available from traditional media outlets, where the unique needs and concerns of women in general, and mothers in particular, are given short shrift. If information is power, Your (Wo)Man In Washington gives women the power to affect political change on their own behalf and on behalf of their daughters and sons.