I was pregnant during the 2016 Presidential election. I was pretty confident and excited that my son would be born into the first female President of the United States, and thought what a great way for my son to learn the importance of female leadership.
Of course, like many Americans, I was completely disheartened and disturbed that Hillary Clinton did not win. I couldn’t even finish watching the election that Tuesday night as I was getting anxious and I knew that wasn’t good energy to transmit to my unborn baby.
I was and still am in disbelief that Donald Trump is our President. I thought and hoped for a moment after the election that perhaps while he presented himself as a vile and arrogant human being during the candidacy, perhaps winning would humble him and maybe, just maybe he would turn out to be well, not exceptional by any stretch of the means, but at least not horrible, maybe okay. That again has resulted in my hope being completely deflated.
Three weeks after the election, my beautiful son was born. I was overjoyed and in my own happy bubble. As you could imagine, my first month was amazing as I finally had my sweet baby in my arms. I didn’t pay too much attention to what was going on as I was trying to get as much sleep as possible. But being on maternity leave, I would occasionally tune into watch CNN and see the disaster of what the Trump administration is unfold before my eyes.
I realized this is what having bipolar depression must be like. One minute I’m so ridiculously happy, and the next minute, I’m angry, sad and upset.
It’s 9 months later and I am still experiencing the same thing. I have immense joy of being a mother and my time with my son, but I absolutely hate (and I rarely use that word) hate what is happening to my country. I make my critical Trump posts on Facebook, I’ve signed petitions, I’ve called the Senate and Congress, I’ve donated to many organizations that Trump is dismantling, but I still feel sad and hopeless. Yes we’ve had some amazing reaction – the Woman’s March, Judges stopping Trumps racist travel ban, the taking down of confederate statues, Steve Bannon leaving the White House, and this is all great and part of the paramount RESIST movement. But as long as Trump is President, I can’t experience any real peace. Instead I feel so much concern for my nation and I’ve never been more fearful about the state of my country.
So how does one raise a child in this abysmal period? How do you not let the fear and anger get in the way?
The only way we can, with great consideration, love and as much optimism and compassion as possible. And I have to believe that hope and love will conquer in the end. I’m sure when my son is old enough he will one day ask me. My honor roll, kind, compassionate, respectful of all races, and women and anyone different than him will ask me. He will be reading about the Trump era in history books and will ask me, “mom, what was that time really like?” And I will respond, “it was a dark and dreary time in American history but you brought me light and hope into my life.” Thank goodness for my son because it allowed me to not be silent and try to do something, even small actions every day to better this world and country I am still so proud of despite a depraved President.
It’s up to all of us as parents to teach our kids that racism is not acceptable in any shape, that women deserve equal pay for the same work they do as men, that it is all of our jobs to protect this earth and take care of Mother Nature, that it’s not okay to bully someone because they have a different religious belief. And that despite a dark spot in American history, people are ultimately good, and above all love will always win.