Uplift Families, Protect Childhood – Generation Justice
Photo Credit: Daniel Lobo Some rights reserved.

The creation of life is not casual. It’s a cosmic miracle; a transformative experience. I imagine myself becoming a mother and the incredible responsibility that comes with being a parent.  The many different routes motherhood can take, the unexpected moments, the unusual decisions. It’s something that I imagine my family would support me through. I also imagine that society would want me to be the best mother I could be.

Sometimes, though, I see an article, or a legislative bill, and I’m harshly reminded of society’s inability to see a woman’s body as something sacred and that sometimes life doesn’t just “fall” into place.

This is why home visitation should be a right, accessible to all first-time families. New Mexico must strive to uplift our families. Growing up in a healthy, safe household is crucial for a child. As I get older, I realize that my ability to feel safe gives me the ability to succeed. Whether it’s feeling physically, emotionally, or mentally safe – it’s a big deal as a young person to feel that confidence in yourself and to have the courage to take risks.

Growing up without that sense of security and unity is devastating to the psyche and allows us to be easily misguided by our fears and insecurities. As a mother, I wonder how this can be taught to my child. I wonder how I will be able to teach this to my child, as well as keeping them physically healthy.

As we see stories about child abuse or neglect on the news, it’s difficult for anyone to ignore. What we see less often is taking a look at the possible routes of prevention. It becomes a battle of partisan talking points, despite the overall trends of both parties who agree that life is something special and meant to be protected.

New Mexico is always at the bottom of the list when it comes to child hunger, child poverty, even child well-being. When we see home visitation programs creating change in our community, shouldn’t we take note? The New Mexico First Born Program, for example, provided all of their families with the ability to raise their children confidently: erasing the possibilities of child neglect, domestic violence, or drug-use.  An investment in health at a young age is a lifelong investment. Early childhood is such an impressionable, uniquely important part of life.

Investing in our children is an investment that isn’t just for the future, it’s for the present. It provides happiness. It provides faith. This lifeline for families is a necessity to uplift New Mexico as a whole. Home should be a foundational place, a launchpad to pursue our dreams. Investing in that should be a priority for all New Mexicans.