May 7, 2012

Milwaukee Courier

Mother's Day

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

I consider myself an incredibly busy woman, often active to the point of exhaustion.  I run a small business, my law firm Taylor Law and Associates.  I also work hard to serve my constituents in any way possible as a State Senator in the Wisconsin Legislature. 

Both my private business and my public service offer unique challenges, and I relish the opportunity to include both in my daily routine.  Though I take these responsibilities seriously, my first job and greatest joy has always been motherhood. 

Nothing has given me a greater sense of purpose.  Before I became a mother years ago, I was driven and ambitious, but even my public service had an air of self-involvement.  I worked to help my brothers and sisters in my community, but I also worked to prove myself.

Motherhood has been a deeply humbling experience.  Every day, I am forced to come to terms with the fact that I am not alone in this world, and that my son depends on me for love and for attention.  His needs, and my motherly worries and cares, never leave my mind.  Before I became a mother, I could not imagine such single-minded devotion to the well-being of another.  Of course, I love the rest of my family.  And my faith taught me to love my neighbors and to serve them by doing good works. But how could I know what it feels like for a piece of me, literally my own flesh and blood, to become another person?  And how could I expect that person would grow up to become such a loving, wonderful boy? 

Since my son was born, my own worries about the future of my city and my nation have grown far beyond the reach of my own lifetime into the lives of the young ones who will inherit that city and that nation from us.  My son will be left with whatever future I leave him, and this fact weighs heavily upon my every public action.

Since becoming a mother, I have learned that am not just an individual struggling to get what I want from society, but I that am a member of a community whose members must support one another and look out for one another.

Conservatives often scoff at the government, calling it the “nanny state.”  While I agree that there is much waste to eliminated, I think of government in another light.  I believe in a government informed by the values of motherhood, of concern and care for others. 

It would be foolish of me to compare my vision of Wisconsin to the role of a good mother in the lives of her children.  The government can never be as warm and important as a real mother.  But I believe that our legislators could learn a lot from the experience of motherhood.  Of course, most are men who will never be mothers themselves.  You can judge for yourself whether you think our priorities suffers as a result.

In any case, Happy Mother’s Day!  Sons and daughters of Wisconsin, please don’t forget all that your mothers have done for you.  She has devoted hours of worry and care to you, so do something special for her this Sunday!  Put time and effort into whatever it is, in the same way she given so much of her time and effort to you.