2.05.2008

Mom Politics

In honor of Super Tuesday (even though Virginia doesn't vote this week), I thought I would go out on a limb and talk politics — mom politics. No, this is not another work vs. stay at home mom or breast vs. bottle or any of the other top discussions at play dates. This is a topic has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

Can you tell another mom’s politics without talking politics?

My interaction with my mom friends is often limited--by time and munchkins. We greet each other at preschool drop off and pick up. We might get a few minutes to chat at the playground or if we’re lucky we’ll move beyond mom talk at a girl’s night out event. Rarely does it ever move to politics due to time and circumstance of wee ones springing about. Do we not discuss it because we don’t care? Quite the contrary, I believe we very much do care. Many times we just haven’t made our way into “that part” of the mommy friend relationship. Is it that we are so different in our politics that we can’t discuss? Absolutely not. We have heated debates on other relegated “mom topics” without it being an issue.

I started playing this game with myself for a few mom acquaintances. How quickly can I figure out their politics? Can you size up the Republican vs. Democrat moms by typical stereotypes? Are the conservatives driving the large SUVs and the liberals driving their small stationwagons? Do the Republicans send their children to the church-based preschools and the Democrats want nothing to do with religious teaching in a three-year old curriculum? Are the “granola” moms the ones with the homemade baked good, carrot sticks and hummus? Do the Republican moms let their kids play with toy guns? Is it the right-wing moms who send their kids to a million scheduled activities? Do the left-wing mammas wear their babies in a sling? Can you pick a politics by the strollers they drive or the diapers they use?

You will probably be very unsurprised by the fact that I didn't get very far with this research. You’ll find the most conservative moms making homemade baby food and liberal mammas driving giant SUVs. I don’t fit the typical stereotype for my own politics, and I wouldn’t assume other moms do either. I'm most definitely a mommy crossover.

The bottom line is that no matter what mom I talk to, they all seem to want similar things in the parenting world of politics:

Better healthcare system (one way or another) especially for kids,
Better pay for teachers and less testing efforts which distract from learning,
Cleaner air to breathe,
A safer world to live in,
Options for working after babies,
Safer toys for kids,
Perhaps a bit more maternity leave should we choose to work
The right and security to breastfeed wherever necessary to quiet our children,
AND a fabulous pair of maternity jeans.

As a small-SUV driving, organic feeding, all-terrain strollering, homemade baking, Pampers-using, baby wearing mom, who sends her kids to a church-based preschool and doesn’t allow TV in the house . . . can you guess my politics? Extra credit if you can.

Soon to be cross posted on DC Metro Moms.

7 comments:

Natalie said...

I love this post! Great way of looking at the topic.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you're an Obama supporter?

Ainsley said...

Love it. I often play the same little game myself. But I realize I totally don't fit a stereotype (though I'm sure plenty of people think they have me pegged) so why would they?

Great post.

tricia said...

You might find a good debate about environmental toxins or education among moms at the playground...but it's not likely you'll find yourself immersed in conversation about politics or religion (unless you instigate) Why is that? Maybe because moms are so tired of being judged by other moms on their parenting decisions that they don't want to offer up their deeper personal philosophies for scrutiny? It's a shame. Seems like we could learn a lot and garner some support from eachother.

Cara Fox said...

Great post and timely topic! Voting day in Georgia today and wouldn't you know it, this came up both at playgroup today and at our group's SuperBowl Party on Sunday night. We scratched the surface of the topic, but not everyone felt comfortable enough to state their allegiances. By the way - the stereotyping gets applied to dads too. My die-hard Libertarian husband got innacurately pegged as an Obama supporter somehow!

Marriage-101 said...

Very good post! I would say Democrat.

I think Letterman or Leno played this game with people on the street. I was wrong nearly every time.

Linda Kerr said...

Democrat, huh? Hmmmm....I love this game! Democrat...not since college. :-)