Maryland’s Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, Mary D. Kane, shared with FAMILY Magazine how education, no matter what your age, opens the door for a woman to make life better for her family and herself. She revealed to FAMILY Magazine that her rise in politics comes from a solid family life and an encouraging husband. Coupling her strong family foundation with her passion to create a prosperous future for the next generation makes this an inspiring story that I am sure will motivate you to invest in yourself.
Q. You have had a highly successful career—Special Projects Director, Assistant State’s Attorney for Montgomery County, and Secretary of State for Maryland—what have been your greatest stresses when it comes to balancing motherhood and career?
A. I’ve always put my kids and family first, but of course at times it’s stressful to balance motherhood and a challenging career. I was fortunate to be able to stay home until all three of my children had started school, and then I went to law school. There were many nights when the kids and I were all doing homework and studying for exams. As my son, Jack, once said, “When Mom has exams we all have exams.” We made it through, and I think they (and I!) learned a lot from experiencing school and family life together.
Q. How has your husband supported your efforts?
A. John has been terrific at encouraging me to compete and complete a series of challenging and rewarding work experiences; starting with law school, and then in government and the Chamber of Commerce. He understood that the work I was doing was important to me, and to others. He took care of his business (The Kane Company) and let me take care of mine. We each realized the two careers were equally important. One moment that stands out is when John and my children arrived at one of my classes in law school with cupcakes for my birthday. I would say that is very supportive.
Q. What was your family’s reaction to Bob Ehrlich selecting you as his Lt. Governor?
A. Of course it’s a shock to learn that “Mom” is going to be Lieutenant Governor, the second ranking officer in state government; but, they know I am passionate about their future and the future of all Marylanders.
Q. How do you manage the stress of being both a mother and politician?
A. The only stress that I have about being both a mother and a politician is that someone in the media or political parties might try to hurt me through my family.
You are a mother of three children; do you have any advice that would you like share with mothers today?
I would like to hear their advice for me! Honestly, when I decided to attend law school with three small children, I asked a very wise woman, “Am I being selfish and not putting my children first?” She told me in no uncertain terms, that if I was happy with what I was doing and my husband was happy doing his job, then our children would be happy.
Q. What do you think the biggest challenge is for mothers today?
A. Making sure your family is your number one priority is the most important challenge all mothers face. As a mother, most challenges come about when we try to please everyone.
Q. America’s education system is fraught with problems. Have you identified the recurring issues that keep the American education system in this vicious cycle?
A. We have to provide an atmosphere that says education matters, and that hard work is required and rewarded. We can help our kids by insisting they do their part and that the school does its part.
Q. How do you propose to help elevate recurring social issues?
A. Family is the best place to start. It is equally important for people to concentrate on making contributions in their communities, requiring accountability from leaders, and insisting on fiscal responsibility in our political system.
Q. Do you and your husband have a date night or time you dedicate to your marriage?
A. We did have date nights when the kids were younger. We make time for us.
Q. On a more fun note, what is your favorite activity with your children?
A. We have the best conversations around our kitchen table. Jack, Grace and Elizabeth are the most amazing individuals with their own points of view. John and I have learned so much from having two hour dinners with them.
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Because Dinner Time is Family Time