As a candidate for office, I spend most of my time knocking on my neighbors' doors. It’s the best way to get to know more people in the community, and to earn their votes. I love door knocking because I get the chance to talk to people about their needs, and their vision for Maryland. However, when I’m knocking in the evenings, it means I don’t always get to tuck my kids in at night.
Thankfully, Friday nights are different. I am running a family-friendly campaign, and in my home, Friday night is family night. No matter what else is going on in our hectic lives, we always get together for dinner on Friday night.
My Campaign Manager and I decided early on that keeping this tradition during the campaign was best for my kids. Since they come first, we created a campaign plan that has me home every Friday night, for family dinner, games, and the bedtime routine.
I knew preserving this time was important to me. What I didn’t know, was how important it would become for me. It’s true what they say: Running for office can be an emotional roller-coaster. The pace is grueling, and the physical toll exhausting. But I know, every Friday night, I will get to come home, and just be mom. This sustains me.
This week, we all cooked dinner together (my kids love to cook!), and then ran upstairs to play our new favorite game: The Adventures of Mermaid Maeve and Captain Leo.
In this game, Maeve is a mermaid princess and Leo the captain of a pirate ship. Leo pilots the ship while trying to avoid whales, and Maeve repeatedly rescues his hat when it falls into the ocean. It’s a simple premise that evolves week after week. This week (for some unknown reason) Captain Leo was wearing a leprechaun hat, and mermaid Maeve a pink tutu. And every third whale turned out to be a shark.
Barak and I take turns as mermaids and boat captains too, and then we bathe and pajama them up, read bedtime stories, and give huge hugs and kisses goodnight. By 8 PM I am back to campaigning, working hard on questionnaires and thank you notes to potential voters. But I am invigorated.