I spent most of my early years living on a dairy farm in Maryland. During these formative years my parents strived to teach their children not only the value of hard work but the importance of helping your neighbors. They believed that it was important to care for your family but just as important to look out for the good of the entire community. These lessons I learned during my childhood are a huge part of who I am today.
Finding my way in the world of advocacy as an adult (and parent) has been difficult to navigate. There are so many issues I’m passionate about but knowing how to truly advocate for them takes a lot or research and action. It is easy to sit behind your computer but real change happens when you step outside your door.
As I write this blog post I am preparing to participate in the Strolling Thunder: A Think Babies North Carolina Advocacy Day which takes place tomorrow in Raleigh. My husband, daughter, and I have participated in a variety of advocacy events together but this is the first time I will be advocating without them by my side.
Let me tell you, I am incredibly nervous and my anxiety is in overdrive! For the first time in my adult life I will be standing face-to-face with a legislator stating the reasons why we need to do better for our youngest children. It is an issue that I am well versed in but I am afraid I will stumble over my words or forget the major points I want to make.
Being an advocate for change means that you are speaking up for those who might not be able to speak up for themselves. I need to speak up for the families in North Carolina who live in a childcare desert. It is my responsibility to fight for the families whose children deserve access to quality childcare. My fears are nothing compared to the fears of parents who want the best for their children.
As you read this post the event will be over. I may have stumbled over my words or I may have spoken more eloquently than I ever have in my entire life. Either way I followed the lessons shared by my parents and took care of my neighbors.
Are you looking for ways to be an advocate? Check out these articles: