The Motherhood Mandate: Respectful Political Discourse


Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re well aware that we’re experiencing a tumultuous time in our country. From inaugurations to marches, it’s clear that the polarization of American politics isn’t going away. Respectful political discourse seems a thing of the past. While I don’t shy away from giving my opinion about everything from the Gilmore Girls reboot (seriously, Rory?) to whether or not the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, I solemnly swear this blog is not about my own political stance. 

When I look around–from my Facebook feed to my next door neighbor–I realize we don’t talk to each other any more. At least, not really. We talk at each other or we talk about benign things, but we don’t talk TO each other any more; not about the stuff that seems to matter deeply to us right now, anyway. 

Hi, My Name is Allison and I am a Conflict-Avoider.

When I write, “We don’t talk TO each other any more,” I write about myself. For a few years now, I’ve avoided discussions with people who disagree with me. I’ve surrounded myself with mostly like-minded people who will nod and “amen” my diatribes and musings about politics.

It feels good to have people agree with you, but here’s the danger: if you only talk to people who agree with you, you get a pretty skewed idea of what the world is like. Hence, our current situation. We’ve got people from both sides of the political aisle staring with eyes bugged out, remarking:”People really feel this way?” We’ve lost touch with one another because we’ve favored comfort over reality.  

We find ourselves in quite a mess, don’t we? The road ahead looks ominous and difficult to navigate, no matter which politician or political party you side with. We have failed to participate in respectful political discourse because, frankly, it’s hard. 

The Sisterhood of the Motherhood Calls Us to Respectful Political Discourse.

Fellow mothers, we can do better. Whether you voted red or blue or not at all, we can do better. What joins us together as mothers is a far greater force than what divides us, of this I am sure. Our sisterhood, The Sisterhood of Motherhood, requires us to acknowledge the value and beauty in one another. At the very least, we can agree that we love our children fiercely. That, my friends, is a valuable and beautiful thing. When we operate from this baseline, I believe everything changes.

  • A young woman with the “Protect the Unborn” sign might be a woman who was told by her doctor to abort one of her (now three-year-old) twins because “he would never be normal.”
  • The protester in nursing scrubs with the “Healthcare for All” sign might be a daughter who has watched her father fight cancer tirelessly without the fear of bankruptcy. 
  • An exhausted woman with the “Save American Jobs” sign might be forced to be the backbone of her family, as her husband lost his factory job and they struggle to keep their home.
  • A young professional with the “Say No to Betsy DeVos” sign might be the teacher who works with special needs students, concerned that they will lose the already limited resources available to them.
  • The older lady with the “Blue Lives Matter” sign might be the widow of a police chief killed in the line of fire. 
  • The woman with the “No Human is Illegal” sign might be the refugee mother searching for a better future for her children. 

Do the Hard Things.

Is it still hard? You bet. But we mothers do hard things all the time. From convincing a three-year-old that wearing pants outside is a must to awaiting the results from a cancer screening, “doing hard things” might as well be our middle name. 

We can do hard things. Like have respectful political discourse.

From the Enemy to the Fellow Mother.

When we see one another first and foremost as fellow mothers in this crazy moment in history, we build bridges. While we will never agree on every issue, let’s talk to each other. Is it uncomfortable? Of course. Yet, if we call ourselves mothers and identify as members of The Sisterhood, it is our mandate. It’s up to us to lead the way to respectful political discourse.

Seems totally fitting that a bunch of moms would teach the world how to talk to each other, doesn’t it?

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Allison’s mission in life is to notice the extraordinary in the ordinary. Her commitment to see beyond what’s in front of her was fostered by her degree in Philosophy and Theology from Boston College. Allison’s a book nerd and credits her parents and inspiring English teachers for her love of reading and writing. She went on to earn her Master in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and then taught high school for several years, both in New England and San Francisco. After moving from San Francisco to Boston with her engineer husband, she began teaching yoga and working as a social media marketing consultant. Now a Portsmouth resident, she spends most of her days with her three daughters (she does not have enough arms) and does her best to find the bliss amidst the endless snacking, dance parties and tiaras. With all the beautiful chaos in her life, she’s grateful to have her partner-in-crime (husband Charlie) and fellow movie quote enthusiast alongside her. Her passion for writing first drew her to Seacoast Moms as a contributing writer, and her desire to connect moms of the Seacoast with businesses who serve and interest them led her to become SM’s owner. Being able to write about the ordinary grace present in motherhood, while interacting with incredible Seacoast business owners is a dream come true.


  1. I completely agree. It is truly fascinating and a bit depressing to see our society in action. No one wants to be civilized when discussing politics. We must teach our children the difference between having conviction in your values and beliefs versus demonizing those with different views. Just because someone has a different stance does not mean they are ignorant , intolerant or hateful. I love that you gave examples of why someone may have a particular belief.

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