The midterms here, and it's easy to feel as though they've snuck up on everyone... except for those of us who've been fixated on November 6, 2018 since November 8, 2016. I haven't missed a single election since I turned 18, but as a citizen and a mother I've never been more ready to cast my ballot than I am now. And I'm not alone. Romper asked other moms to explain why they're voting, because it's important to remember exactly what's at stake.
Of course it's not just moms who are eager to make their voices heard this election — early voting is up across the board and in some places is already close to (or has surpassed!) overall turnout numbers from 2014. But from the high-profile efforts of groups like Moms Demand Action to the fact that record numbers of women, including mothers, are running for office, gals, this is our moment. In fact, I'm demanding it be our moment. Our lives are constantly focused on the future (read: our kids) anyway, so this feels like the perfect time for people to be looking to us for guidance as they navigate this awesome and indescribably important responsibility.
So with that in mind, here's why 34 women plan to vote like a mother:
"I always vote because so many people fought for my right to do so. This year I was especially motivated because of our state (Texas) Senate race — our votes here matter more than ever."
"There are thousands of reasons, but perhaps I can distill it like this: because I want to see changes. And, when my kids are old enough to understand and are reading about this political era, I want to be able to tell them that I did my part."
"[I'm voting] to show my kids that we can be part of the solution when we use our voices and speak up."
"Because why the f*ck wouldn't you?"
"I vote because to do otherwise would be giving a middle finger to everyone who fought for my right to do so. I vote because I want a better world for my child — an inclusive, diverse, and equitable world that embraces all races, genders, sexualities, and relationship configurations. I vote because we need more Democrats in every level of government. I vote because I believe in working within the system to create change. I vote because I want to dismantle the patriarchy and white supremacy. I vote, but I also understand that voting is only one part of being an engaged citizen since we should always push our elected officials to be better and hold them accountable when they f*ck up. I vote because if these f*ckers have their way there might come a day when I can't."
"I vote because I believe it is our civic duty to do so. Elections are becoming more high stakes than ever and every vote matters and we have a responsibility to do so. I also have two small children and need to consider the future that we will be leaving them."
"As my grandfather says, 'By voting you are maintaining your right to complain about what is happening.' If you don't vote, your opinion no longer matters."
"I’m voting because I’m so worried about the world my children will have to grow up in. We are not doing enough to combat climate change and the current administration is making it easier to ruin the environment. My daughter’s reproductive rights are at stake. Economic inequality is increasing, and health care is out of reach for too many and will soon be even harder to get. We need change and voting is one way to begin to work for it."
"For healthcare, for immigrants, for my daughter's future rights regarding Roe v Wade, for common sense gun reform, and finally to place some checks and balances into place against a wanna be dictator."
"I vote because a representative government relies on participation of all citizens to be truly representative. If you don’t vote, the people representing you don’t think your voice, opinions, concerns or rights are as valuable to them as the people who do vote. Put ‘em on their heals and make them listen to your voice."
"In general, I vote because I have strong memories of going with my mom to vote as a child and I grew up thinking it was such and important and amazing right to be able to vote."
"I am voting because last week my kids sat through and unannounced code red drill worrying that there was an active shooter in their schools. We have to do better by our kids. I am voting because I teach my kids to play by the rules and be fair and kind while the Republicans seem to prove daily that lying and cheating and being downright mean is the actual way to get ahead."
"I live in arguably the bluest state where if you're liberal people often think their vote doesn't make a difference — so why be inconvenienced, the outcome will be the same? But, I still vote because I originally come from a state where people thought this, split a vote three ways, and ended up electing a terrible governor that less than half of the state supported... twice! Every vote matters. Nothing is ever a done deal."
"I am voting because I want to be on the right side of history and hopefully change the future for the next generation. I am voting because I want to continue to support policies that are ethical and moral, benefiting the majority — even if it means higher taxes or stricter regulations for myself. To set an example that it's not just about me."
"I’m voting to show my kids that we have a voice and to show them how important that is. I’m also voting to make sure that I support the candidates who fight for the issues that I care about (like healthcare, gun control, education and women’s rights)."
"I vote because it’s one thing I feel I can do for my daughter’s future."
"I'm voting for my family members who are trans, use marijuana to treat anxiety and depression, have pre-existing condition, are public school teachers, and are Jewish and have experienced a rise in hate crimes.
I'm voting for immigrants and their children, women's rights, common sense gun reform, and for someone to put checks in place on the current regime. I'm voting like my life depends on it. Because it does."
"I'm voting because the last eight years have been terrible in Connecticut. I'm voting to support the change that needs to happen for my daughter's future."
"I vote so my daughters know that I won’t sit back and watch the gains of my mother disappear."
"In general [I] want to be a good civic example to my kids. This is my first year in Connecticut, so I'm more apt to vote down the ticket for Democrats where close and vote my support to Green/Libertarians where the candidate aligns with my values. Even when the Democrats were in power [and] getting nothing done, it was still better than what's going on now. All the ancillary bits of government are where the party matters to me, and the big picture is largely the same regardless of party; bunch rich people doing rich people stuff."
"I vote because I’m a mom to a daughter with special needs. I fight for her future, and to protect her healthcare and education. I vote to elect people who care about our children, the future, and our environment. I vote for those who protect the vulnerable."
"I vote because I am a woman who has a 4-year-old daughter and I don’t want her growing up with the same patriarchal leadership that I’ve had to deal with. I believe in rights for ALL (regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, race, whether you are [documented or undocumented] person living in the US). I am a rape survivor and I feel that the current administration is doing absolutely nothing to stop the abusive power that men feel they have over women."
"I voted because right now they're trying to take away our rights in Oregon, and I'm not OK with that. I want to show my daughter that we are beyond privileged to be able to make our voice heard by filling out a ballot, and how important it is that we keep on doing so."
"I am voting because I am the mother of three daughters and one son. I’m voting in hopes that my children and grandchildren will not see war or famine or drought. I’m voting to ensure they have a planet to live on. I’m voting so they know the importance of kindness, of helping people, and of equality. I can only hope that my grandchildren will only know of racism, hate, and bigotry in history books. That’s why I vote. "
"I'm voting for candidates who will stand up against anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of intolerance and hate. As a Jewish American I know that while we may be one target of extremism we're not the only ones, so I vote in solidarity with those who may not have a voice."
"If I had to pick one issue, you can consider me a Healthcare Voter — fighting for the rights of all on issues related to health because if you don't have your health, you have nothing."
"I vote because it is my duty. When my kids were little I took them in with me to show how important it is as a citizen."
"I vote because I am a teacher. My vote is my voice for not only my own children, but my students. Elected officials make major decisions for me without even stepping foot in a classroom."
"I'm a Jewish mother of a 10-year-old daughter in Brooklyn, so it's pretty evident why I'll be voting I guess, but a few specifics: I'm voting because anti-Semitism is real and happening, climate change is real and happening, and polluters and fraudsters will destroy my family's chance at happiness if not regulated. It's important to me that my daughter be healthy, proudly ambitious, and well-educated, and able to swim in coal-ash free water and breathe clean air, surrounded by birds, fish and butterflies. ... I'll vote against anyone who thinks they can question the humanity of others, and hope to be an example to my daughter of the Jewish thought that each of us brings a light into the world. "
"I'm voting this year because of the epidemic of gun violence our nation faces on a daily basis. No family in the United States should live with the fear that their lives could be taken by an irresponsible gun owner. We can champion for common sense gun reform without infringing in Second Amendment rights. I am proud to say that every vote I cast for my state (and some local) candidates has earned the 'gun sense candidate' distinction from Everytown. For me, there is no issue more important than this."
"Because putting my daughter in a literal bubble is apparently frowned upon. So, I guess we’ll have to change the entire world instead. Voting seems like a relatively easy first step."
"How much time do you have? Generally I vote because I believe it’s all of our civic duty to do so. This year I’m voting because I’m terrified of the direction in which Trump has taken this country and we need to reinstate a system of checks and balances. The GOP has proven to be complicit in hate and lies, so we need more people in power who will stand up to him. I’m also voting for candidates who support common sense gun legislation, healthcare for all, women’s and LGBTQ rights, prison reform, and believe that climate change is real. That list isn’t exhaustive, but are some key factors in why I vote and for whom I vote. Basically I’m voting because I believe our democracy and many lives depend on it."
"I’m voting because not everyone can and I have the privilege to vote for candidates who will protect and improve healthcare, fight for common sense gun control, who believe in science, and who believe in the value of all people not just those who fit a certain mold, and because we have a president who only cares for himself and will continue to lie to maintain power, to enrich himself, and to marginalize the most vulnerable among us."
"I am casting my vote in solidarity with those who have been marginalized by the homophobes, xenophobes, racists, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim demagogues in our government. I am also voting for those denied their right to vote by those who can only win if they prevent a fair and honest election. I am voting for the 11 members of the Tree of Life synagogue cruelly murdered because of the hatred of our so-called president, which pushed a sick individual over the edge and encouraged him by his lies to kill my fellow innocent Jews. And I will vote for the members of the Greatest Generation who are no longer with us. They fought against fascists and ended the horror resulting from the hatred of 'the other.' And yet, here we are again. Maybe if enough of us vote, we can stop all of this madness!"