“What do you mean you’re taking over my job?” says an incensed Rachel Green on the show “Friends.”
“Well, while you were on your baby vacation I was DOING your job,” replied Gavin, Rachel’s temporary replacement while she’s out on maternity leave.
I never fully understood Rachel’s rightfully annoyed reaction until I had kids and experienced my own “baby vacation.”
Vacation it isn’t.
To paraphrase Rachel, my idea of a vacation doesn’t entail a showers-optional sleep deprived caffeine fueled extravaganza that usually includes being covered in some form of bodily fluids at any given moment.
For most of us (save for the superwoman I saw being interviewed on the news the other day who wrote an actual BOOK while on maternity leave), this is maternity leave.
You’re tired. You’re dirty. You’re spent. And as you hold this precious child in your arms, you’re suddenly SO much more aware of the world around you. The economy, the safety of our nation, and the future that we’ll leave behind for our children … suddenly all of that means SO much more when you have two little helpless eyes staring up at you from the safety of your arms.
I sat last night with the aforementioned newborn cooing in my arms as I watched President Trump’s first state of the Union address. Those of you who have followed my segment on The Chris Salcedo Show know that I struggled immensely with whether or not to vote for Donald Trump—and ultimately I voted less FOR him than I did AGAINST Hillary Clinton. I remember casting the ballot and literally holding my breath—hoping that I’d be proved wrong.
Well, consider me proven wrong. It’s been an impressive run—and he’s only a year into the job.
And as I sit here with finances and my children’s future predominantly on my mind, mothers (and fathers) across this country are thrilled to have a president at the helm that actually cares about a thriving economy, especially after spending the better part of 8 years having it hammered in our heads that it’s wrong for America to prosper.
I bristle at how callous and unaware Nancy Pelosi (among others) is when she flippantly used the word “crumbs” to describe the hefty bonuses some companies were giving out in the wake of the historic tax reform, ESPECIALLY as a mom of two in an economy that has suffered through years of stagnant and declining wages under the Obama administration’s heavy hand.
But for kicks, let’s start with the crumbs. For families like mine:
- $1,000 buys 62 containers of my son’s special formula.
- $1,000 buys 50 packages of his diapers.
- $1,000 buys nearly 2 months’ worth of our groceries.
- $1,000 buys 38 tanks of gas.
- $1,000 buys 70 jugs of laundry detergent.
Then again, I suppose $1,000 is crumbs to someone who drops $100K+ in taxpayer money on food and booze. But I’ve digressed.
And mind you, as I noted above, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As a mom with kids to provide for, the fact that the child tax credit and standard deduction have been doubled is a lot more than a scrap of bread thrown carelessly at the dog on the floor. As a mom with kids to provide for, the prospect of higher take-home pay starting immediately (no awkward here’s-why-I-deserve-a-raise conversation required) is kind of a big deal.
Families like mine are starting to see a lot more opportunities for work (and more pay as they do it) as a growth-friendly tax and regulatory structure is already translating to higher wages and higher employment levels. We’ve all got more opportunities for a great career as scores of major companies like Apple and Fiat Chrysler are bringing jobs back to the U.S.
It’s true, I may never reach the heights of $100K booze tabs (nor would I want to, for the record) but all of these things mean something to ME, and millions like me.
Despite what the mainstream media (or the petulant Democrats who almost couldn’t contain their temper tantrums during last night’s decorum-less performance at the State of the Union address) would have the world believe, there are millions of us out here who are optimistic for the first time in a long time. For some of us—like me—it’s the first time in our adult lives.
And it’s not just about the economy, stupid.
It’s knowing that this president is actively doing something about the flow of illegal immigration across our border, which brings far more than the bright-eyed dreamers the Democrats describe. From MS-13 to global Islamic terror, our border has been an open invitation for the world’s evils for far too long, and it means something to a mother of two precious children that my president is doing something about it.
It’s knowing that this president takes terrorism seriously. I had my first child during an administration that thought of ISIS as the “JV Team.” I’ve had my second child during an administration that’s actually defeating it.
It’s knowing that this president is actively doing something to help veterans—like my own brother—after years of abuse from the Veterans Administration.
It’s knowing that this president is defending those who were otherwise forced to pay for things that violated their religion.
It’s knowing that we’ve got a president who is willing to firmly stand for the interests of the United States to a world community that has for too long bashed our country while still relying on our tax dollars for military and economic support.
Put simply, this president is protecting our right to earn a living, raise our families, and just BE … in peace.
Despite the ongoing cries of racism, bigotry, homophobia and other oppressive descriptors used by the left and the American media, what Hitler-esque horrors have come to fruition as a result of this (albeit unorthodox and certainly far from politically correct) presidency?
Seriously, whose rights are being squashed with lower tax rates? Whose rights are being quelled with expanded religious freedom? Whose rights are being ignored by defeating terrorism? Whose rights are trampled on by defending the law? Whose rights are being extinguished by finally listening to the cries of our injured veterans?
Yet somehow it’s selfish, mean-spirited and otherwise rotten to be excited about all these things. We’re supposed to be as long-faced as the Democrats who sat stoically, arms crossed, during the applause that rang out after President Trump touted record low unemployment in the African American and Hispanic communities.
I’ve long since said that whoever came up with the moniker “Dreamers” to describe those 1.8+ million kids brought here illegally by their parents was a genius. Why? Because who can argue with the dewy-eyed optimism of a young person’s dream?
Well here’s the thing: as Americans, we’re entitled to our American dream. It’s the great inheritance bought and paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of those who have come before us to protect and uphold it. And yes, I’m happy to share it with those who come here … legally.
Finally, we’ve got leader who’s saying that. And the best part is I think he actually means it:
“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”
And for those readers of mine who don’t believe he’s doing enough to correct course, no, I don’t love the DACA proposal. I hate that my husband and I had to wait, pay and pray to get him here while millions will have it handed to them. I don’t love the proverbial infrastructure push nor do I believe in threatening tariffs in free trade. But there’s a lot to be excited about, especially given what we ALMOST had.
Call me crazy, but this momma’s optimistic for the future.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show. She can be reached at: email@example.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree