International Women’s Day: Eleanor Roosevelt – First Lady and Supermom

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Challenges and finding strength

 

“Today is a challenge for women . . . tomorrow will see how you answer the challenge,” Eleanor Roosevelt.

I can say that I have had my fair share of challenges over the last year. I still wonder if I actually answered the challenge or if my answer has yet to be determined. On April 17, 2012 I was banned from volunteering in my daughter’s classroom for my blog entry on bullying. Within my blog I quoted Eleanor Roosevelt and her conviction to do what you feel is right, no matter what. It was the no matter what part, that landed me banned from volunteering because I did what I thought was right and stood up for my daughter. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I chose to celebrate a true advocate and super mom, Eleanor Roosevelt, who maintained her convictions and stood up for human rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt is the most vocal first lady in history. She was never one to back down from a challenge or fight for what she believed in. Beginning at a young age, into her tenure as First Lady and beyond her husband’s presidency, she served as a humanitarian both within our nation as well as around the globe. When President Roosevelt was stricken with polio, she became his eyes and ears to that of the people, traveling the country, surveying both working and living conditions of the American people during the Great Depression. She believed that all should be afforded rights of equal employment and the power to vote. She stood for women’s rights in the work place and played a key role in the suffrage movement, the monumental movement that ultimately led to a woman’s right to vote within our country. However, let us not forget that she was a mom. Although her political and public life drew her away from home, she maintained her role as mother to her six children. Her devotion to her children, to her family, drove her passion for children, family and women’s issues.

On courage, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face … we must do that which we think we cannot,” Eleanor Roosevelt.  

I often think about how Mrs. Roosevelt would have handled my situation and the aftermath that I continue to contend with regarding my daughter being bullied and my blog documenting our plight to seek counseling for her. Did I or do I have the courage to continue on in the face adversity that plague my situation? I believe that Eleanor would have done what I had done, stood up for her daughter, at any cost and would have viewed the dismissal from volunteering as a mere bump in the road, a small obstacle to overcome. She would have done all of the above and more with both courage and grace (and a little attitude, I’m sure). Although I fought back, I find the fight bitter sweet, and although Eleanor found her niche in life as a humanitarian and super mom, I am still in search of mine. The need to find courage. As I was banned from volunteering over the words of a First Lady, I feel as if I was fired from a job I loved the most, doing good for my daughter’s school. As the saying goes, when a door closes, somewhere a window opens. Hopefully with Eleanor’s guidance, as I continue to learn more and more about this supermom, I will find my window and continue to build on making a difference for children in this world.

As I began this blog with a quote, I will end with the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that ultimately had me banned from volunteering in my daughter’s classroom.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

 



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