Kristen and I have never run this as a partisan or a political site, but that’s not to say that our values aren’t pretty clearly reflected on these pages.
Our long-time readers know we are, and have always been, about inclusivity. Positivity. Diversity. Honoring our differences and seeking out what unites us. Providing support for all kinds of loving families, and seeking out more opportunities for all kinds of kids.
None of that changed today. We’re still here. You’re still here, the hundreds of thousands of you who share these ideals.
We started this site ten years ago in part to lift up those who need lifting up, whether it’s a single mom starting a small business out of her home, a new author whose words deserve to be heard, an initiative that helps a community or a whole country impacted by tragedy, or a single independent artisan putting something beautiful out into the world.
But today, I think it’s many of us who need lifting up the most.
This election has been particularly tough on women for so many reasons. There’s a lot of healing that needs to happen. I myself feel raw and broken right now. I’m disheartened and disappointed and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.
I am. I’m really scared.
But whenever I feel like just burrowing into a hole or bingeing myself into an ice cream coma, I remind myself that I can’t — I’ve got kids. And they need me.
This morning at 4 AM, I dreaded waking up my girls in a few hours with the news. When I did, I saw dreams smashed to pieces in their tears, as I wiped their cheeks and reassured them that things would be okay. Holding them while they sobbed, hearing questions I couldn’t entirely answer — it was one of the hardest challenges I’ve had as a parent.
(If only we all could snap our fingers, and the perfect parenting expert would appear, standing over our shoulders, whispering in our ears.)
I reaffirmed to them that our own values haven’t changed. That there are so many good people in the world, the ones we know and the ones we don’t. I talked about what we believe in and why we fight for it. We talked about racism and sexism in plain terms. We talked about privilege (not at all for the first time) and how essential it is for us to acknowledge it so we can use it to help make more positive change for others.
We talked about how there are no guarantees in life. And how character is defined not by how we behave when things are going our way, but how we behave when things aren’t.
Then I reassured them that we need to try and see the world as one in which all parents want what’s best for our kids — even if we don’t always agree on the right way to get there.
As Kristen perfectly put it, the values we stand for, the ones she and I both supported in this election, they haven’t gone away.
We remain, indeed, stronger together.
So we’ll be here, doing what we can. Fighting another day. Lifting each other up. Believing in good. Being there for our kids. Being there for our village, as our village is there for us.
And reminding you that today, as always, if you’re having a hard time, look for the helpers.
That advice has rarely steered me wrong.