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Reframing Motherhood as an Advantage for Female Candidates Running for Office

While children have long helped male candidates appear more charming and nurturing, the same cannot be said for their female candidates. Women are often criticized for not staying home with their kids and there’s a longstanding notion that motherhood will prevent female candidates from being able to carry out their job to the fullest extent, causing women to wait to run for office until children are out of the house or even prolong having them. In actuality, motherhood makes them even more qualified and motivated. Female candidates with children have the ability to connect better with voters who are working parents, since they share similar experiences and struggles. Take Mikie Sherrill, a Democratic candidate for Congress, for example. She’s proudly brought her four children along with her on the campaign trail, displaying her ability as an experienced candidate and a badass mom. “You want somebody in Congress representing you that on some level you feel has the same values you do and has the same priorities you do,” said Sherrill. Women shouldn’t apologize for having children, and bringing them along on the trail this year is just another reason why women are changing what politics looks like.

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