You, the mothers out there, make a difference every day—for your children and for the world. Celebrate that power this month on International Women’s Day.
Each year on the eighth of March (for over 100 years), International Women’s Day is observed around the world. IWD marks the economic, political, and social achievements of women…and that includes you!
As you travel through each whirlwind day, you probably have little time to catch your breath, let alone contemplate what you may have achieved that day—or in your lifetime. Therefore, I challenge you to think about your accomplishments, and those of the women around you. Despite feeling there is never enough time to get it all done, you might be surprised to find that many women actually achieve more in their lives than they (or you!) ever could have imagined.
“Each time you make the choice to do the right thing—to help someone in need—you take one small step towards repairing our world.”
Raising kids with values, morals, respect for the environment, and a strong work ethic isn’t easy anymore, but it is still possible. It might require you to stand alone as you reinforce responsible, principled, and caring behavior. In addition you will undoubtedly find that, at times, your child will profess dislike for you—especially when you make parenting choices that oppose the tide of popular opinion. But stand strong, because when your child grows up and becomes part of the next decision-making generation, you will know that you have played a part in steering our world towards a positive future.
Juggling childcare with work (paid or volunteer) is one of life’s greatest challenges. Each day you are confronted with decisions about how to allocate time—a commodity of which there is never enough! It might feel like you are moving so fast that the work you do seems futile. So, stop for just a minute and consider the importance of your contributions. If your work is paid, then not only are you supporting, or helping to support, your family, but the money you earn and then spend helps maintain your local economy. If you work as a volunteer, you can feel good knowing that your dedication to the cause you support will help to advance the mission and change the lives of others in the process.
Each day we are confronted with the opportunity to stand up for those who struggle. Some may be financially less fortunate, others might be bullied or teased, and still others may confront tragedy or illness in their lives. Each time you make the choice to do the right thing—to help someone in need—you take one small step towards repairing our world. In addition to directly helping others, you also set an example for others, including your own children.
Due to medical breakthroughs our parents are living longer lives than ever before in history. Although they are living longer, our parents and grandparents require help and support (sometimes financial, sometimes time and energy). Taking care of this generation confirms for us that individuals of all ages deserve our respect and support. This too is a message to teach the next generation (after all, they will be the ones caring for us!).
We are fortunate to live in a land where women are free. This is not the case for all women, everywhere in the world. It is, therefore, not just your right to vote in every election, but your obligation. Each time you cast a vote, you reaffirm that women have the power and the strength to change the world—as mothers, daughters, leaders, and vital members of the community. Don’t underestimate your power to achieve whatever you choose in your life.
Dr. Susan Bartell is a nationally recognized child psychologist, speaker, and award-winning author. Her latest book is “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask.” You can learn more about Dr. Bartell at drsusanbartell.com.