Dual Identities on International Women’s Day-Exceptional and Otherwise

 

So today is International Women’s Day! Happy International Women’s Day to all the Moms out there, all the female caregivers and women in caring professions and other professions. As a feminist and a Mom, I finally see myself coming together as a woman. Feminist causes were at the top of my list before having Michael and before autism came in our lives. Then it moved to the top of the list. I often felt like less of a feminist than I used to be, as my Mom role overshadowed everything in advocating for Michael and for our family. Then I realized one day recently, I am still a feminist, and a humanist. In advocating for Michael I have learned how to advocate for myself as well. In learning how to speak, I am learning how to help other women speak out, help their children, help their families, help themselves.

There is still so much inequality in the world. It is not International Women’s Day everywhere in the world, and still much work to be done to help women advocate for themselves, their families, and the societies. Things like raising your family, taking care of your children, can be, and should be considered, as much a  part of your feminist identity as you job, wages and other issues you are passionate about. Men, fathers, male caregivers can also embrace this label of feminist, as the men of this generation increasingly work alongside women in sharing responsibilities, raising children together, Exceptional or otherwise, and realizing that for full potential and realization, both sexes need to be free to be who they are, and teach their boys and girls to feel free to be who they can become as well.

 

I have said this before many times, but I have felt it more in the past few days. As Michael has been working his miracle in raising me to come out of my shell, I have seen what true human spirit feels like, truly feeling whole, equal and engaged. I have never wanted more to make a difference in the world for women, for children, for all people, than since I became a Mom. My self-growth has been rocky at times, scary at others, but I have enjoyed this ride and continue to enjoy the journey of getting to know myself more each day while teaching others what I know and spreading the joy around. After all, it was the great Maya Angelou who said: “When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” And that is what being an Exceptional Mom of an Exceptional Child has taught me. For all those who have given and taught me, I pass on the word every day. But today especially I think of all the women out there, all the Moms fighting for a better world for our children, our people, our planet. I salute all of you.

Exceptional Parents, how many of you give yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work you do with your Exceptional Children? Today is the day to do that if you haven’t already. All the Moms, Dads, caregivers out there fighting, nurturing, and helping to make the world a better place. Your children will shine and do shine every day because of what you do, and you shine because of what they are becoming. Until next time.

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