Mom the Vote at the polls today!
At the risk of stating the obvious, the final and most important thing you can do to #MomTheVote is make it to your polling station today to cast your ballot.
Seriously. Don’t let anything short of hospitalization or other family emergency get in your way.
Many of you could be looking upon your schedules today and feeling a little stressed. Casting your ballot between work and dinner, or while keeping the baby asleep in her stroller, may seem like just another task piled upon you.
I ask you to consider that only a comparably privileged existence can allow for that viewpoint. Think of the places in the world today where people are going to war for the right to do what we lucky folks can look upon as just another thing to cross off the list.
Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS
So how are you going to make this happen? Have you put a voting plan in place? Mine is to leave the office a smidge on the early side (you’re entitled to three hours off if you need it), get my boys from their two schools and take them with me.
Their dad and I have been talking up the election and explaining the process, as we aim to do whenever there’s a chance to vote. It’s a great way to make the democratic process real for the kids. As perturbed as he is that he can’t cast a ballot himself (we did our best to explain using a theoretical Kids’ Party that would cancel school and make ice cream an official food group), Cameron, 7, is keen to understand how it all works.
He's been tagging along on voting day at every opportunity, even one rough time when he was a toddler complaining intermittently of “something [imperceptible] in my eye.” Even when awkward parking and snowsuits were involved. Even when a trip to a church basement fit about as easily into my evening as a root canal.
But you know what? When he’s allowed to vote, I’m absolutely sure Cam will make the effort. (Besides, we’d disown him if he didn’t.)
To cut corners tonight, I’ve planned a simple dinner of grilled cheese or BLT sandwiches with fruit for dinner. I know this meal will come together quickly after I get home with tired kids in tow and it's a relief to have something so easy on deck.
What’s going to work at your house? If your extra-curricular schedule is super demanding this evening, ask yourself what it would say to your kids if hockey or band was given more importance than exercising your democratic right?
Maybe you can even create a fun new ritual around election night – one that your kids can look forward to each time. Could you ride your bikes there together, or watch a movie when you get home? Could you arrange to meet a neighbour and let the kids run around on the grass while you take turns casting ballots? It doesn't matter what you do just as long as you get there.
So tonight, skip something. Order pizza. Go for a post-vote milkshake. Do what you have to do to make your voice heard.