Modern Maternity

Motherhood in the Public Eye

Phote Credit: Nicholas Sommer

Politics is a by definition both polarizing and uniting.  Each day is in essence a  job review and an interview for your position and each day brings new challenges and rewards. A pregnant woman in politics is still somewhat a rarity. I deduce to some extent this is because it is a mixture of demands, hours, time away from home and at times opprobrium. A woman in politics requires strength, and maternity helps drive determination. My advice to those that ask me how to be a good mother and a and professionally successful, is to believe in your own strength, be resilient and at all times be cognizant to be the mother you want your son to be proud of. 

There is the constant reality of the preferential tendency in life to fit in. Pregnancy for many does not change the same desire to be seen as a person instead of a process in waiting for an arrival. We are aware we are often seen as different as the months grow closer. We are aware of a life in the singular and in a matter of months we are almost instantaneously seen in the plural. Motherhood extends the demands, but never hinders decisions but rather broadens the realizatin of long term impact. 

I was pregnant with my son as I ran for an elected position  My health and my child’s health was a priority. Even as public figure, there is still a desire for privacy and protection of my son.There are strong words and intense meetings and there is an inherent instinct to shelter him from some aspects personalities, instead emphasizing diplomacy and rationality in decisions and interactions. I was raised to do all I could in my life conscience of avoiding speaking of complaints and always conscience of peaceful words. My mother and grandmothers are and were all such strong woman despite so many hurdles in their lives, that I was raised to be strong and believe in my intelligence, my capability and my ability. 

I love my son as he runs in my arms as I come home, smiling as if he has not seen me in years instead of hours. I love how he reaches for me to hug his outstretched arms and lift him into my arms. I am so thankful he has been with me through so many seminal moments in my life. He was held by my husband as I took my oath of office and now as I sit with gavel to run meetings.  At only just two years of age, he has seen me in countless diverse roles and surroundings. I am now the Freeholder Director of my county and the only woman on the board. My son is my inspiration, my husband and family my stalwart joy, and by their presence, my resilience has been strengthened with perseverance and I have had the ability to thrive.

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