Amy(s) at ARM
posted by Amy

Nearly the only thing that could distract me from the upcoming presidential election here in the United States during these last few days was the chance to meet, outside of the computer I half-believed they really lived in, Jennifer Niesslein of Brain,Child, Amy Hudock of Literary Mama, Amy Richards of Ask Amy and the Third Wave Foundation, Amy Tiemann of Mojo Mom, Beth Osnes and Juliana Forbes of Mothers Acting Up, and Linda Lisi Juergens of the National Association of Mothers' Centers, Joy Rose of Mamapalooza as well as many other mamas whose writing or activism I've admired for years and some who were all new to me.

So, on October 24-26, I left the kids, the dog, and the husband behind and took off to "another country," as my kids kept marveling. For a mama whose days of solo international travel are decades behind her, flying from California to Toronto, Canada did feel like a big trip.

But it was worth it. Thanks to the organizing powers of Andrea O'Reilly, founder of the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM), writers, scholars and activists from several countries were able to come together for a weekend conference focusing on the mothers' movement. In the coming weeks, I'll be highlighting just a few of the many amazing women I met this past weekend, as well as the work that they're doing.

I'll also be telling you about future events, like Mamapalooza in New York in May (which will be held along with another ARM conference), the founding of the Museum of Motherhood in Seneca Falls, and the development of the International Motherhood Network website, a resource for finding information about all kinds of mama groups.

I know you've heard me say this before, but there's a mothers' movement happening, mamas. It's happening when one mama asks another why we don't have paid parental leave here in the U.S. It's happening when a mama in Germany helps a mama in Canada start a mothers' center for aboriginal mothers. It's happening by making tiny changes and by asking big questions.

During this time of economic stress, meeting the needs of caregivers, including mothers, have to be a primary concern of our lawmakers. As I learned this weekend, there are all kinds of ways to keep issues affecting mothers front and center (some involve stilts, which I'll tell you more about when I interview Beth Osnes of Mothers Acting Up). I hope you'll add your voice to the millions of mama voices out there asking for change. After all, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, right?

Want to see a glimpse of the weekend? Check out video here.