Being a mom these days requires lots of skills. It is like being Cinderella in reverse (a laundress, cook, cleaner, chauffeur and scullery maid all at once for children rather than stepsisters.) At times, I feel inadequate.
As a mother of three children (one in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school), I know exactly how difficult it is to be a mom and juggle a full-time job.
It means being pulled in all directions, with children asking for something for a school project due tomorrow, as well as driving them across town to a soccer or ballet lesson.
I am in the midst of this hurricane every night, including weekends.
Sometimes, I am amazed that I am able to manage their schedules as well as my own work schedule.
Moms are multitasking everywhere. For me, an hour-long phone conversation also means most of the dusting is done and my stove is spic and span. Then I begin with the chauffeuring.
Moms know how to get things done, and a term that captures this idea is “soccer mom.”
The term “soccer mom” came into widespread usage during the 1996 U.S. presidential election.
It refers to middle-class suburban working women who spend a lot of time driving their children around to sports and other extra-curricular activities. The term was used frequently during the elections, as the soccer moms played a key role.
This endearing term was embraced by mothers as it conveyed their multitasking. Many soccer moms are overburdened and overwhelmed with responsibilities at work and at home.
Many feel they need to work extra hard to prove themselves at the office and to prove that they are also good, loving moms at home.
Yes, I fall in that category.
Fast-forward to 2012 and another election. Today, we still widely use the term soccer mom, but another term is emerging: the “dot.com mom.”
Dot.com moms are still the suburban middle-class working moms who continue to drive kids around to sports and extracurricular activities. But they are connected to and active in the realm of social media.
Dot.com moms consult each other before buying things online. They discuss child rearing and also influence some of the key social media concerns for the day.
While Internet use is rising, it is important to reflect how much influence dot.com moms can have not only on the general election but on this world.
Dot.com moms at work are connected to social media throughout the day and can have a major influence on what goes on daily in our community, city and nation.
For millennia, women have been subjugated in family and society. But with the rise of soccer moms and now dot.com moms, the world will feel the intellectual equality of women translated into political power.
That will kill ideas that relegate women to the home, typewriter and rectal thermometer.
The influence that dot.com moms can have on advertising, politics, education and religion has begun, and its horizon is broad and beckoning.
This year’s presidential candidates must pay careful attention to the dot.com moms and their concerns.
Politicians on all levels need to celebrate ideas that will address the crucial needs of women, like women’s health, equal pay, tax cuts on the middle-class, abortion, unrestricted marriage and rights over their own bodies.
If candidates do not take women’s concerns seriously, it may cost them the office.
Grace Ji-Sun Kim is associate professor of doctrinal theology at Moravian Theological Seminary.