It's a Wednesday, and I've hit my moment of overwhelm... I walk in the door of my house to find a pile of laundry that's been sitting on the couch since last Wednesday, like snow on a mountain in winter, it seems to grow with each passing day. The dishes from breakfast are in the sink, the kids need dinner now, and I feel like I need to get on my email after we put them to sleep, which means I'll be up until after midnight IF I get sucked in. The overwhelm of the "to dos" can feel impossible when we get stuck in the mindset that it all needs to get "done." But as I often say to my husband (Jeff :)), "The to do list never ends, so you must rest when you need to and listen to what your body has to say, after all you only get the one." As you can imagine, like all partners, he's thrilled to take my cheery advice 🤣.
Jeff's response aside, I do try to take my own advice, and not over do it. And when there is a spare moment for something extra I am often left with the question, how do we know what's important these days? What needs our attention? As a parent, the obvious answers, the answers that really will not take no for an answer, is the kids, so we always get through feeding, bathing and clothing them. Hey, let's take a moment and celebrate that why don't we!? I bet no one reading this has written, "feed the children and make sure they are clean (ish)" on their to do lists??
But what about the other things? Where to give money, what petitions to sign, what frantic appeal on facebook actually deserves our time and attention?
Mountain Mamas, a small nonprofit based in Colorado and Montana, answers these questions. We are very excited to announce that Mountain Mamas are joining Jeff and Paige as one of our 2022 Partners. I had the pleasure, during our June podcast, (coming out next week!) of sitting down with Jen Clanahan, Colorado State Director, of Mountain Mamas to discuss their work and how they are making it easier, more effective, and possible for mothers* to get involved in political activism in order to create a cleaner, healthier, happier world for our children and ourselves.Mountain Mamas focus on water quality, air quality, land protection, climate justice and more. They make it easy and effective for others to participate in their campaigns and they will tell you exactly what to do!
Now, I know when my 3 year old tells me what to do it usually ends with a sippy cup being thrown in my face (yeah we're in a phase over here) but when Mountain Mamas tells you what to do it's because they have researched, vetted, and created a plan for how to effectively create change in our local and federal governments to affect the laws, policies, and legislation that directly impact our, and future generations lives.
Okay so politics, forms, emails about politics, maybe even a phone call... I have to admit, and I do in our podcast episode, that the whole idea of legislation, politics, lobbying, phone calls to political people etc. makes me feel all squishy inside and in over my head. I have been known to pick up the phone, dial that number in Washington, and hang up after the first ring, so I don't have to actually make the comment that I want to make, because I'm not sure I'm saying the right thing. Mountain Mamas helps with this to!!! They help us know what to say! (Spoiler alert, they mostly will tell you to speak from the heart about what you care about, they say that political people are actually listening and tracking these phone calls and emails and they gasp do care about what we citizens have to share.)
The starting point for getting involved with Mountain Mamas, is to sign up for their emails. And unlike many other organizations that do work to help citizens get involved Mountain Mamas sends me just a couple of emails a month. When I see their name in my inbox, I don't automatically hit delete. I know it's something pertinent and EFFECTIVE that I can do to help. If you want to take it further than emails and phone calls, Mountain Mamas has lobby days at the capitol, videos to help you feel confident speaking out, and one on one support to talk through the issues: what's important, how you feel and how to express it within the context of whatever political decision is being made. Mountain Mamas does what every great educator strives for: they meet us where we are.
If, like me, you are stuck at home with every multiplying laundry, start with their quick email actions and grow beyond there if and when you are ready. But maybe you are like my neighbor who has older kids, wants to do something about climate change and doesn't know where to jump in to a political scene. This is a resource I highly recommend. Listen to the whole inspiring interview with Mountain Mamas on our upcoming "Backstage With Jeff and Paige" Podcast, look out for Mountain Mamas' table at our upcoming events. Visit mtnmamas.org to download their Free Tool Kit: 13 Action Tips For Mountain Mamas.
*Mountain Mamas defines "mama" as anyone who identifies as a mother (and anyone else who wants to join too they are all-inclusive).