“Becoming a mom makes politics real”

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) gets personal with Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire magazines, discussing motherhood and mentorship and her experience as the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress.

Here are the highlights:

Marie Claire | The Women of Congress Share Why They Ran for Office

“My story is a little different than most. I was appointed to serve in the Washington State House when Rep. Bob Morton, the state legislator who I worked for, was appointed to the Washington State Senate. I won my election and served as a state legislator for ten years, where I held the highest position in the Republican Party in the Washington State House as Minority Leader. I was surprised when U.S. Representative George Nethercutt called and wanted to meet to discuss the possibility of me running for his seat as he ran for the Senate. Bob and George really impressed upon me the importance of mentorship and the power of asking a woman to run. If I hadn’t been asked, I wouldn’t have seriously considered it. I’m grateful for models and mentors in my life who believed in me and challenged me to dream bigger dreams.”

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Cosmopolitan | Why Mothers Make Great Politicians

“Becoming a mom makes politics real. Whether it’s education policies, health care policies, family leave — it informs your decision-making. People often ask, “How do you do it?” I have a supportive family and an outstanding team, but I also have a flexible work schedule that allows me, at least some of the time, to get to the kids’ school program or the doctor visits when I need to. So family-friendly work schedules have become more of a passion of mine, and the cost of childcare is also a huge issue. I think we should be looking at ways that we can make childcare more available at the place of employment.

“My job is just a little more high-profile at times, and people might be paying more attention, more scrutiny. Having to look good with TV-ready clothes every day — there have definitely been days when I had spit-up on my blazer. But I’ve decided it’s not that different than any other working mom in America. There are millions of working moms across this country that are trying to balance the responsibilities of a job and their desire to be a great wife and mom. Some days go better than other days.

“I am grateful to be a mom. I could’ve very easily missed it, and I might’ve missed it if I hadn’t run for Congress when I did.”