Advocating for ourselves can be incredibly difficult. Instinct is something that we all have, but can be a scary thing to voice. We wonder what people will think or say and get bogged down in believing it’s no big deal. The thing is, our instincts are real and have a purpose. We are the people who best know ourselves and our children and therefore have the tools to speak up for our needs.
The Many Faces of Motherhood
I can help my kids with so much, but there will always be outside influences that have a role to play in their lives. I am the person who has the tools to advocate for them It’s so important that I do so now so that when they are older, they are able to do it for themselves. Advocating is not saying we know it all. It is a way to insist that in certain situations, we know what’s best.
Pushing Back on “This is How it’s Done”
Many people in positions of authority like to refer to the mantra that this is how it’s always been done. Pushing back on this can be intimidating, but also essential. I have been in the position where my child was not getting what she needed at school. She needed to be tested for a certain identifier, but the school only tested once every three years. I knew we would be moving again within that time frame, so time was of the essence. The response was this is how it’s always been done.
As difficult as it was, I kept pushing and eventually they agreed to the testing. It turns out that I was right and now my daughter is set to get what she needs no matter what school she may be attending.
They are Doctors so They know what is Best
I am a firm believer that doctors generally do know what is best. However, I was recently put in the position where I had to go against a doctor’s orders. I could see that my child was getting anxious and depressed and my instincts told me that it was because of a prescribed medication. I mentioned multiple times that I was extremely worried to no avail.
My own research confirmed my suspicions. I decided to get a second opinion from a different type of specialist and they were willing to work with me to find a better solution. I knew that my daughter was not acting like herself and as hard as it was, I had to do what felt right as her mom.
A Better World for my Children
Standing up for others in the name of what is right is another way to be an advocate.
Our children are paying attention when we call out things that are antithetical to our beliefs. Racial injustice has been around for centuries and my girls need to know about it. I feel the need to do something and speak out against what is happening in our schools, communities, and country. Part of my involvement in trying to help make things equitable for all is the need for my girls to grow up in a world trying to make itself better. I am an advocate for change because I know that it’s ultimately what is best for my girls and really all of us.
There are many ways to advocate for ourselves. Many situations may require us to do so. These can range from things that seem insignificant to those that seem life altering. Being seen as someone who stands up for ourselves is a good thing. Our life experience and instincts tell us when something is not right. Honoring those instincts is not always the easiest thing to do, but it is usually what is best.