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On Your Way to Power, Make No Excuses

By: Staff Report

Young Urban Moms, if there’s one thing we know about excuses, it’s that they never completely remove the problem that’s really there, but we have to learn to own up to what we have to do

When it comes to excuses, we know how to pile them on. We’re moms, it’s what we do.

But if there’s one thing that we also know about excuses, it’s that they never completely remove the problem that’s really there. (Think of the many millions that your kids give you.)

When it came to writing this post, we had a list of excuses ourselves.

“Who’s going to read this post? It needs more research. We don’t know a thing about power. We don’t know a thing about pretty much a lot. Laundry is piling up.Then there’s the holidays and the resolutions that we never get time to finish. We still have to work on our gratitude list? What about finishing the book? What the hell were we thinking?”

But much like the author that we’re highlighting today, we had to brush it off and own-up to what we have to do.

Gloria Feldt has been working with women for years. As a teen mother herself, Feldt found herself in our shoes, facing the many excuses that we’ve made (and are made for us), and trying to really balance it all. Although she tried early on to find a job that worked for her, it wasn’t until the introduction of birth control that Feldt was able to shape her life with more intent. She went on to mold her career track, becoming the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, and a leading activist for women and Vanity’s Fair “top 200 women legends, leaders, and trailblazers” (among other great honors).

Feldt tells us in her own words what the tile of her latest book – “No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power” – really means to her and about a YUM’s true power.

YUM: What is POWER?
Feldt: What I talk about in No Excuses, women have had an ambivalent relationship with power. Power is just out there. It’s something that can be used–like a hammer–to break something apart or to build something.

But what has happened, over the years – came the negative impact of power. We have this idea of power over something, so that feels very negative.

We need to redefine power in our own terms. When we talk about power to: as the power to accomplish, power to make our lives better for ourselves and children, or the power to change something that we think needs to be changed for the better. Then it becomes a positive and we’re able to accept it. That’s what we need to do to in order to achieve our own dreams and reach parity in any aspect of our society.

Y: What about mothers + their power?
F: When I was writing the book, one of my daughters said to me: “Are you writing about how powerful mothers are? Because mothers are the most powerful people.”

Far from there being a stigma of mothers, I think mothers are very treasured. But that doesn’t mean that our society makes it easy to be a mother. I read a study of how mothers are offered so much less in salary, and how they are discriminated against for when they’re going for jobs. I would like to see mothers ban together. One of the power tools is to create a movement: Mothers banning together. If anyone should be making a bigger salary, it has to be mothers.

Y: How do you want this book to be integrated and used?
F: I’ve had a lifetime on the frontline of women’s movement on various different ways. What I’d like to do is share that information with younger women and encourage them to create their own movement.

Encourage them to continue the conversation and the seeking of that kind of inspiration. To continue the conversation with one another; telling a story and learning from other women. Asking women, who are older than they are, to share their stories. Sharing their stories with their children and friends. I think that’s how we make change. It’s not an instant thing. It happens in the doing and I hope to encourage a lot of doing.

Y: What advice do you have for all the YUMs out there?
F: Somebody asked me, not long ago, what advice would I give to mothers. What I said is in relation to one of the chapters in the book: Stand In Power, Walk With Intention.

In that chapter, I talk about how I want girls to learn from the earlier years. To think about life intentionally. We can do what we want to do, if we start thinking about it and planning.

I wish someone would have told me to be more intentional with how I interacted with my children. To realize that everyday, they are learning from me — whether haphazardly or intentionally — sharing with them. I think about the days that went by and I wasn’t noticing that much. That idea of being intentional means a lot to me. If I were going through the process of being a young mother again, I would think—at the beginning of everyday: What is it that I want to impart?

Be intentional and appreciate it everyday.

If you want to stop making excuses, learn the 9 Ways to Power, follow and PARTICIPATE in Feldt’s blog/tweets, and brace yourself for this movement.

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