We somehow do it all. As mothers, we keep their little world turning. We provide explanations for all their curiosity, and we solve every tiny fear hiding in the midst. We disinfect bloody knees, and we bathe little bodies that have spent the better part of their day digging for worms. We hug furiously when a new journey begins. Moms make everything better. Everything but mass shootings.
Children have again died at gunpoint. They’ve taken their last breath in the classroom where they learned to subtract. Children have bled to death in the same place they learned to be kind, and where they were taught to include everyone. Their life ended by the rug they sat on just moments ago for story time. Children were killed in the one place they’d learned to feel comfortable away from home and without their parents. And the worst part is, we knew it was coming. In fact, according to New England Journal of Medicine, guns are the number one cause of death among children.
Related: How to talk to kids about school shootings
It’s been happening for far too long. It happened again this week. And with 77 instances of gunfire on school grounds already in 2022, there’s no denying it will happen again. Yet we think and we pray and we hope for the best. Days, weeks, and months go by, and we settle into a quiet lull, finding solace in the peaceful intermission.
But intermissions don’t last forever. Intermissions are a time to make change. Intermissions are the quiet moments we’re given to prepare for the inevitable return.
Check on the moms in your life. Mothers are not ok. We grieve every time a gun finds its way into a school. We live our lives knowing that a good day means making it to bedtime with our children alive and well. We drop our kids off at school, a backpack larger than their body wiggling behind them as they walk. We struggle to explain why they must practice intruder drills and why our world becomes more broken as the days progress.
Related: 6 things parents can do in the aftermath of a school shooting
And each day, many of us lie to them. We lead them to believe they’re safe and cared for and protected at this home away from home. Mothers are living in constant fear and we need your help now. Our children are weaving their way through childhood as targets waiting to be hit. We are running out of time. Your daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, granddaughters and grandsons are relying on us.
Right now, we are not ok. And we can’t make everything ok without help. We won’t be ok until our children are safe.
Mothers notoriously do it all. But right now, mothers are not ok. And we can’t make everything ok without help. We won’t be ok until our children are safe. We need to keep our kids alive, and we need help. The life of our children should supersede everything else, and without change, these nauseating headlines will always return. Mothers, families, children are not ok and we need your help.
I’m tired of crying as I drop my kids off at school. I’m tired of hearing the names of children shot to death. I’m tired, I’m angry and I live in constant fear. Speak up, push for change, and don’t stop until the intermission lasts a lifetime.
If you’d like to learn more about organizations dedicated to ending gun violence in America, please visit Moms Demand Action and Everytown. To find information about grief and support services, please visit Our House Grief Center.