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We are mad.

Before I tell you why here is a little sidebar: I spent the last 10 minutes going back and forth about whether or not to write the words "we are mad."

Hmm, gosh, I don't know. People might read that and dismiss what I have to say. 'Another woman getting hysterical and talking about her feelings.' Maybe I should change it? Make it a little more, I don't know, objective sounding?

After careful and graceful consideration, I have respectfully arrived at the decision that I WILL NOT CENSOR MYSELF just because I am a woman and that makes you uncomfortable.

So I say again, boldly this time, that WE ARE MAD.

Furious, in fact. But it's not why you think.

We are not in an uproar because of what allegedly happened to Dr. Ford 36 years ago. Of course, we are deeply affected to hear of yet another possible case of assault against a woman—it's awful. But quite frankly we're not surprised when we hear about women getting sexually assaulted anymore. One in five women and one in seven men are sexually assaulted. It is, dare I say, common.

It sickens us every time. But the allegation is not the source of our palpable rage this week.

Oh, and by the way, see how I am saying words like "possible" and "allegedly?" For the record, we do understand that as of now we are talking about unproven events. Despite the fact that less than 2% of accusations are false, we live in a country where a person is innocent until proven guilty, and it is not our intent to change that. Believe her (as I do) or don't—that is your right, and he has the right to fair proceedings.

His assumed guilt is not the impetus for our fury.

Our anger comes from the nation's response.

Dr. Ford represents that scores of women and men who have been assaulted, and the level of disrespect and disregard that she has been shown has ignited us.

That she has been casually dismissed for waiting 30 years to report it.

That she has been mocked for only remembering snapshots of the event.

That many have stated that even if her allegations are proven, it would not be a deal breaker for her accused.

That is why we are mad.

President Barack Obama once said, "You can judge a nation, and how successful it will be, based on how it treats its women and its girls."

Our nation is currently failing.

Mothers are the keepers of the past and the guardians of the future.

We carry the pain of our mothers, grandmothers, and ancestors.

We wear the pain of our own histories—pain that is inflamed when we watch yet another woman, shaking with fear yet standing in bravery, recount the brief moment in time that changed her life for the worse forever. We have been in her shoes, and listening to her story rips raw the wounds that will never fully heal.

But we close their jagged edges to the best of our abilities, and we carry on because we are mothers, and the future is on us.

We stand here, between our fractured past and our precarious future and try desperately to correct all that is wrong, so that our children can have it a little better than we do.

With unsteady gates and forced smiles, we guide our babies as they learn to stand up for themselves and each other, to distinguish right from wrong, to be a light in difficult situations. We watch over them as they quietly play we silently scream, "Please God, don't let it happen to them."

Mothers feel this pain deeply. And we do not have your support. That is why we are so, so mad.

We do, however, have each other's support. While you stand rigid and yell about all the reasons we are wrong to be upset, women and mothers are changing the world.

We're turning our anger into action, and building each other up.

We are committed to voting, and getting as many other women as possible to join us.

And we are guiding our children to create a better future.

We won't stay silent. We won't back down. We'd love to have you join us, but we'll be just fine if you don't.

Just don't be mad when we leave you behind.

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Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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