This Election Makes the Thought of Having Kids Even Scarier Than It Already Is

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I am 36 years old and have been married for nearly a year -- so clearly people are quick to assume that it's their right and duty to ask when I am going to have kids. What I'd like to say every time I'm prodded by this well-meaning but obviously intrusive question is that it's scary to think about becoming a mom ... especially when my biological clock is ticking to the tune of "geriatric pregnancy." And today it is a gazillion times scarier to think about bringing an innocent little impressionable human into this world in the wake of this hateful election season.

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Of course, that's not to say that I won't (my parents can safely breathe a sigh of relief that the idea isn't off the table) -- because despite those typical fears about not being able to perfectly provide for a child, I've always wanted to be a mommy. I've always wanted the responsibility of becoming a parent and shaping a life in the way my wonderful mom and dad have done and still do today. And, anyway, I've never been one to allow a bully and his spineless followers to choose my fate.

But I will still admit that I am afraid of the bully named Donald Trump. Tearfully afraid. Stress-eating afraid. Sleepless nights afraid.

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It's not just that this particular bully is threatening the world for moms with childcare and maternity leave plans that fall short of actually helping women and families. And it's not just that he's flat-out denied that climate change -- one of the key issues impacting future generations -- is real. And it's not just that he talks about women's health care with the misinformation of someone who's slept through every single science class he ever had to take. (Although don't get me started about his wanting to appoint people who would endanger my reproductive rights ...)

It's that he's galvanized not all, but a palpable portion of his following by stoking people's racist, misogynist, xenophobic tendencies and helping them find a scapegoat in whomever they consider to be different. He's helped give divisive ideologies credence through the tone and tenor of his campaign. He's seemingly made it acceptable for people to voice their hate ... hate for women and Mexicans and Muslims and Jews, hate for disabled people, and hate for people who don't look like the children he produced.

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And it's not acceptable. It's not acceptable to have to cringe every time this man flashes across my television screen (which these days is every. Single. Freaking. Second). It's not acceptable for people to be chanting slurs at his rallies or to have teachers cite what has been coined the Trump Effect in classrooms. It's not acceptable for young children to hear a wannabe leader constantly demeaning women and boasting in phrases that scream rape culture ... and wonder why a presidential candidate is using words that would, without a doubt, get them in trouble.

There are a lot of bullies in this world. The last thing we need is one in the White House.

A video posted by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on

It is not acceptable to have to fear how a future child of mine would be treated in a country that this man wants to lead. Because a future child of mine would be 100 percent Jewish (gasp!) with a 50/50 shot of being a girl (double gasp!). No, it is not acceptable to have to fear the future. That is not a fear that any parent, any human, in America should have ... ever.

And the worst part is that the mounting divisiveness sweeping this country will be difficult to contain ... no matter who wins this election. Because it's going to take more than a simple vote for Hillary Clinton to silence the fury that has been unleashed by the example of one big bloviating bully.

This kind of inability and reluctance to readily bridge this divide is what makes me fear what my future offspring will learn, what their classmates will tell them, what they will see on the news. Because this election has shown us that basic human decency is no longer a common standard.

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The most unfortunate part is that none of Trump's rhetoric honors the legacy of our current president who, no matter what you feel about his policies or how Congress prevented him from doing so much of his job, was the definition of a leader. President Barack Obama led by example and with the dignity of a model dad, husband, and feminist who valued his partner in life. He made the office of the president one to respect because the person who sat in the leading seat was genuinely good. I cannot even fathom the evil that could potentially come in to take his place. 

 

We've come too far to turn back now. Make sure you're registered to vote: IWillVote.com

A photo posted by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on

So this election has to be a referendum against evil. When I cast my ballot, I'll be hoping that Hillary Clinton will help bring this country together. And I'll be hoping that when I do eventually have a child, one more glass ceiling, the highest glass ceiling, will have been shattered. Because no matter what people say about Clinton and her flaws and even her path to the nomination, no one's ever doubted the qualifications and intelligence of this badass woman and inspiring mom. I hope that after all of this I will be able to tell a child, while doing a little victory shimmy of my own, that his or her president is a woman ... and I hope that one day that will simply be de rigueur.

 

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And then maybe, just maybe, by the time one of these hypothetical children comes into this world, our country will have begun to heal from the hate that is breaking us down and destroying the principles that I used to think, no matter where one stood on the issues, we could all agree upon. Until then, though, I will listen to my hero Bernie Sanders (yes, I am #WithHer now, but will always be with him in my heart), as he recently said:

I've got seven beautiful grandchildren, and I want them to be able to grow up in a decent country. We all have the responsibility to work as hard as we can to make that happen -- understanding, as has always been the case, that there are gonna be obstacles in the way. 

Well, if Bernie can be hopeful, then so can I. I'd like to think that the love my husband and I have and can give to a child can trump this hate and create a world that literally drowns out this obstacle of ugliness and replaces it with decency. If not in the country as a whole, then definitely in the immediate world we live in.

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And while it's scary -- no, downright terrifying -- I am going to try to drown out my fears for the future and find solace in the notion that one day a child of mine will bring more decency, more kindness, and a whole lot more love into the world.

Until then, though, here's to stress-eating and sleepless nights. Hey, it looks like I'm already prepared for motherhood. Just don't ask me yet when that will be.

 

Image via ivector/Shutterstock

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