Less than a month later, the Federal Election Commission ruled that female candidates could use campaign funds to cover child-care costs in some cases, a result of an inquiry from the New York House candidate and a mother of two Liuba Grechen Shirley.
In this way, Greenlee suggests, the role of motherhood in politics might be moving in yet another new direction: not only toward political empowerment, but also toward normalization. “As things become more common, they also fade into the background,” she says. “If we have lots of women holding office, some of whom have younger kids, it might be more entwined in politics. There could be more institutional changes to accommodate this role. But it also may become less of a big deal.”