I’m so proud to be a young mama and to be able to witness the amazing day in history that we created once again: the re-election of Barack Obama! This news is definitely a major need of celebration.
However, as many news reports have stated, we must not engross ourselves with the joys of our success for too long because there are issues at hand that affect us young mothers, and including us, young black mothers.
Now that we finally have the mic and politicians are realizing that they must actually listen to us in order to earn our vote, it would be crazy for us not to actually SPEAK and use this opportunity to become a vital part of change in our community.
These are some of the issues that I believe need to be addressed and changed for us:
- Though I tried to be creative and think of ways to bring in extra income to pay our bills (and actually succeeded with two of my boys), there were times when I was forced to consider whether it would be necessary for me to find a part-time or full-time job only weeks after giving birth. So it would do us some good to look at the Family and Medical Leave Act and think of some changes that needs to be made in order for a job to feel like less of an interference with bonding and building a relationship with the new baby. One great thing is that they added extra break time for nursing mothers up to a year after their child’s birth. However, employers do not have to compensate mothers for those breaks which, in the end, doesn’t fully support mothers choice to breast feed.
- In addition, many young mothers are in school and do not always have the income to pay for it. Financial aid and stricter discrimination laws in terms of students chosen for a selected college are issues that have blocked some women from receiving the education they need.
- Finally, many young mothers are also single parents and thus, have the burden of handling the entire financial responsibility of their household. Yet, women are increasingly becoming the ones with the highest rate of poverty. With that said, evaluating the policies encouraged to create more jobs, more flexibility in the workplace, a level playing field, and less taxes and financial govermental regulations that we must adhere to would help us to make our money stretch and allow us to stress less on how to provide for our family.
Of course there are many other issues that affect us that we must examine and speak on but we have to start somewhere. Women, including us young mothers, are an integral part of nurturing our communities and our families and, just like we have to be vocal with our loved ones about when we need help, it’s time that we start to stand up for ourselves in the political atmosphere and say what we deserve.
Give me your thoughts…