It’s more important for moms to vote than ever this year—here’s why

On the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, moms are gearing up to vote in 2020.

19th amendment 100th anniversary

As parents, we're changing the world through our children, but we can also change the world for them by showing up to vote on election day.

It's intense to think that women in the United States have only had the privilege of voting for 100 years. That's how long it's been since the 19th Amendment gave (some of) America's women the right to participate in democracy. There was a time when it was illegal for women to vote in the United States, something President Trump recognized this week when he pardoned Susan B. Anthony on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

What is the 19th Amendment?

The 19th is often referred to as the amendment that gave women the right to vote, but that's not actually true.

As Vox reports, the 19th Amendment didn't expressly grant the vote to women. It actually says: "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

The amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, and in 1920 about 10 million women turned out to vote. However, not all women got the chance to. While the 19th made it unconstitutional to deny voters based on gender, plenty of states were still denying the vote to Black Americans by implementing tolls and tests designed to keep Black voters from exercising their right to vote. Nevertheless, Black women showed up at the polls in 1920 and persisted in the years since.

These days, voter turnout rates are higher for women than men, and women kept coming out. In every presidential election since 1980, more eligible women voters have come to the polls than men. In the last presidential election, 63.3% of women voted compared to 59.3% of men.

It's important to note that history often credits white women as the driving force behind women's participation in voting, erasing the vital role Black and Indigenous women played in advancing women's rights in the United States.

As the New York Times' editorial board recently pointed out, celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the 19th must not erase "African-American women like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Mary Church Terrell, Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells—all of whom played heroic roles in the late 19th- and early 20th-century struggles for women's rights and universal human rights."

And as Stephanie Sellers, a Native American Studies scholar and English professor at Gettysburg College, recently explained to Vox, the white suffragettes were fighting for the same kind of respect and inclusion in society they saw in Indigenous nations, where women were leading.

"Americans often think settler women just pulled the concept of 'women's rights' out of the air without any cultural model when, in historic fact, Indigenous women in the East were living the very ideals these would-be suffragettes were philosophically fashioning and eventually legally fighting for," Sellers says.

Why it's so important for women to vote in 2020

Polls suggest women's votes could be crucial in this year's presidential election, and surveys show competency is now more important than political party affiliation to voting moms. In 2020, moms are looking to elect political leaders who are honest and surround themselves with competent advisors.

Women (and mothers in particular) have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout and, as The New York Times reports, many moms are planning to channel their rage at the polls in 2020.

In 2018, women and moms made history in the midterms. Time will tell if we make history again in 2020.

Here's how to check if you are registered to vote (and what to do if you're not)

If you've moved or changed your name recently, it's really important to check if you're registered to vote. And even if you haven't changed anything, you should still check.

The deadlines to register to vote vary by state. In some places, you can register right up until election day, but in many states, the deadlines are much sooner. (If you're in North Dakota, you don't need to register to vote—it's the one state that doesn't require it.)

You can check to see if you're registered using this tool from Vote.org.

If you're not registered, you can register online in most states (and DC) You can even do it right here, right now.

[A version of this post was originally published October 2, 2018. It has been updated.]

In This Article

    The HATCH Mama collection is everything your pregnant body needs right now

    Their oil is the only thing that stopped my belly from itching as it grew bigger.

    Conz Preti

    Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of moisturizing. I hate being wet and sticky and after applying product to my body, I have to stand around awkwardly until I'm fully air-dried—a practice that is not compatible with having three kids under the age of 3. However, as someone who has carried three children in her body, I also know how much your belly needs hydration as the baby grows.

    This was especially true with my second pregnancy. My belly popped way sooner (a thing that happens with subsequent pregnancies) and on top of that, I was carrying twins, which meant I became super pregnant super fast. My belly was itching constantly from the skin stretching (I checked with my doctor to make sure I didn't have Cholestasis) and there was no scratching in the world that could ease my discomfort. My doula recommended the HATCH Mama belly oil and changed my life. The oil is nourishing—but more important to me, quick-drying—so I could apply it all over my planet-sized twin belly and get dressed immediately after without having my clothes ruined nor stuck to my body. Because of how much I loved the oil, I tested other products, and let me tell you, they're all equally amazing.

    Curious about the HATCH Mama collection? All of their products are non-toxic and mama-safe, designed to help pregnant people overcome the challenges unique to pregnancy. As their website claims, "from stretch marks to thinning hair, to sleepless nights, we're helping you tackle every prenatal and postnatal beauty issue head-on so you can continue to feel like the best version of you." I'm here for all of this. For the entire Hatch Beauty collection click here.


    Here are my favorite products from HATCH Mama:


    Belly oil

    HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Oil

    Intensely hydrating + fantastic at reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, this will be your favorite through pregnancy + beyond.

    $58

    Belly mask

    HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Mask Set

    Not only does it help to minimize the appearance of stretch masks + scars during pregnancy + postpartum, but there is a little non-toxic wink (and that's to you, mama.)

    $42

    Nipple + lip ointment 

    HATCH COLLECTION  Nipple + Lip

    Calming + soothing, this magic sauce is lanolin-free & made of tropical butters and super fruits. I'm not lying when I say you will not want to stop using this, even way after birth.

    $28

    Belly tattoos

    HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Tattoos

    A very rock and roll way to honor your bump. And non-toxic + plant-based at that!

    $18

    This article was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated.

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

    The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

    Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

    We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

    All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

    And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


    Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

    Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

    Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

    Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

    When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

    Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

    Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

    You've got this.

    Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

    The Motherly Birth Class

    pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

    Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

    $79

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    BABYBJÖRN

    This post is sponsored by BABYBJÖRN. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

    So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


    Secret Agent play set

    Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

    This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

    $40

    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

    $40

    Stepping Stones

    Stepping-stones

    Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

    $99.99

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

    $120

    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

    $30

    Sensory play set

    kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

    Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

    $19.95

    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

    $121

    Foam pogo stick

    Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

    Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

    $16.99

    Dumptruck 

    green-toys-dump-truck

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

    $22

    Hopper ball

    Hopper ball

    Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

    $14.99

    Pull-along ducks

    janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

    $16.99

    Rocking chair seesaw

    Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

    This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

    $79.99

    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

    $79.99

    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

    $30

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    20 Halloween costume ideas for the whole family

    Because dressing up isn't just for kids!

    @one_fancy_cookie/Instagram

    Dressing up for Halloween isn't just for kids! There are so many creative ideas that are fun for everyone—the whole family can participate. If you're in the market for the best family Halloween costumes, you're in luck. Instagram is prime real estate when it comes to creative Halloween costume ideas for every member of your family (even the four-legged ones).

    Make trick-or-treating all the more fun with coordinated costumes for your entire fam! From of-the-moment pop culture references to tried-and-true classics, we've got you covered.

    Here are the top family Halloween costumes, according to Instagram:


    Under the Sea, Disney-style

    Cruella and her beloved Dalmatians 

    Zoinks! Jinkies! A family mystery adventure

    It's a Mario Party!

    Corpse bride, but make it cute

    A 'Yabba Dabba Do' Halloweek

    An easy-peasy Halloweenie (family PJs are the BEST)

    A Victorian vampire family is ALWAYS in style

    Old MacDonald had a farm, alright

    The cutest 'Nightmare Before Christmas' ever

    A 'Greased Lightening' gang!

    Family love, to infinity and beyond!

    An absolutely 'Pooh'-tiful Halloween idea!

    Because parents love 'Descendants' just as much as kids do

    The force will be with you always in these costumes!

    A 'derby'-lightful Halloween idea for your inner Horse Girl

    Super suits for the whole 'Incredible' family!

    Those baby sharks aren't as harmless as they look (this family NAILED it)

    Winner, winner, Princess Bride dinner (OMG those R.O.U.S. costumes)

    What can we say, except 'You're Welcome'

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