September 7, 2008

This country..... build 'em up to knock them down

Look, I'm a conservative..... disagree with me, or even hate me if you want to.... whateveah!

But, seriously...... whether you support Governor Palin or not, why is it that the media can get away with questioning her ability to run for Vice President and still care for her children?

If we are doing our job as the parent of a little girl, we should be raising her to believe she can do anything, she can have it all...... and then when she does..... are we going to tell her that she can't do both well -- and if she chooses a high-powered, demanding career -- then she's a neglectful parent?

Barrack Obama's been on the campaign trail for the better part of two years -- yet no one has accused him of neglecting his children. In fact, the only person I've heard mention the fact that he's away from his children is his wife, and she's refreshingly candid about the toll the campaign has taken on their family. The same could be said for Bill Clinton (Chelsea was what 11? maybe 12? when he was elected to his first term?) -- John Edwards has young children -- I'm sure there are candidates..... in both parties with young children, but the guys just don't get this kind of crap.

My parents raised me to believe I could accomplish whatever I wanted..... they never told me that I'd have to choose.... family or career just because I'm a girl -- men don't have to.

At this point in my life, I wouldn't pursue a job that requires a lot of travel -- but that's not because we couldn't figure out a way to make it work -- it's because I don't want to. If Governor Palin and her husband can figure out a way to make this work -- more power to them.

Let's talk about stuff that matters


Arwen said...

As you know, with my work life, I have been questioned fairly hard about my ability to raise my daughter. I think people get this idea she is on her own when I go out of town. Trey is a much more capable parent than I, but I am the mom. Every traveling consultant I know who has a special needs child has stopped traveling, they are all male. It's a lot of work. I completely think she could do the job and raise a family if I thought she could do the job.
My issue with her is that she belongs to a denomination of Christianity that believes women should only work in the home unless absolutely required to be outside the home. That is the hypocrisy I have an issue with, that people like Dobson love her, when she is the opposite of what he thinks women should be.

Sue said...

I don't agree with the double standard either. Whatever your personal political convictions, the fact that she's a woman with small children and running for VP should not be an issue.

margalit said...

I think it DOES matter. She's not looking at a 9-5 job with little travel. She's looking at a 24/7 job with almost 100% travel. She's supposed to represent the US all over the world, at funerals and state dinners, etc. She is NOT going to be around her kids, and frankly I think that a mother that puts her kids a deep second is a mother that is not doing her job as a parent.

My mother worked full time and traveled a great deal when I was young. I was raised by a nanny and two maids. It is NOT a good way to be raised, and my siblings and I have no relationship with my mother as adults. We don't even KNOW the woman. She put her career (in the entertainment industry) first and foremost. My father was a physician, a pediatric oncologist and was rarely home. We were raised by strangers.

Palen is doing essentially the same thing as my parents, only my mom didn't travel until we were MUCH older and because she was nursing, she didn't leave at all when she had nurselings. Palen... she's not around to nurse that baby. And he's a special needs baby that needs MUCH more attention that does a non neurologically impaired child. She should be working with him to reach his full potential. In 20 years she's going to regret that she didn't do as much as she could have for her son.

Additionally, teenagers take WAY more care than do younger kids. Obviously she missed the boat with her oldest child, but she's got another daughter on the way. Shouldn't she at least attempt to raise her kids in their home? Isn't that what parenting is about.

I have no issue with her working. I worked when my kids were babies. So did most of my friends and family members. But we came home every night for dinner, we cooked and cleaned and played with our kids. We took them to school, we were around to pick them up when they were sick, we took them to doctor's appts, and we stayed home when they were puking.

How is Palen planning to do that? Her husband is home, but man... that's a LOT of responsiblity for one parent. He's going to be parenting 4 of their 5 kids, worrying about the son in Iraq, dealing with a teenager parenting an infant, and with a special needs kid. HOW do you expect that family to turn out when Mom thinks more of her career than she does of them?

I'll tell you how. They are going to resent her and feel unloved and they're not going to have much to do with her once they reach adulthood. Having lived it, I can tell you how much it sucks. It isn't sexism. She should not have chosen to have 5 kids (and it WAS a choice) if she had no plans to care for them.

Mrs Big Dubya said...

I agree to some extent with everybody's points....

I have strong disagreements with all the candidates and find myself in a situation where I have to hold my nose and vote for the ticket that offends me the least.... tough choices this time around.

Obviously -- choosing to work or stay at home is a most difficult choice and as Margalit points out -- it can have a profound impact on the children involved, parents too. I'm particularly raw on this subject this week because I just came back to work yesterday and spent a good portion of the day sobbing.... ah, hormones.... I honestly ask myself everyday whether we've made the right choices.

As a mother, I personally would find it hard to be away from my family and I would find it difficult to ask my husband to stay at home to afford me the ability to take such a job -- but, I feel that's between them -- sometimes... the best "mother" is the father -- and that's okay. What works for one family doesn't for another -- that's the beauty of a family.

Perhaps she feels that by taking this job she'll give other parents of special kids something they've never had... a voice at the highest of levels of government? I'm not sure that's a good enough reason -- but our friends with autistic and special children are desperate to be heard, I'm hoping that by merely being a candidate she'll be able to elevate some of these issues and get families the assistance and support they so desperately need.

I guess the reason I wrote this post is that why is this never raised for the men? Yes, a special needs baby does require more attention -- and actually, I did read somewhere that he goes to work with her everyday and she's able to nurse him there. But, the Obamas are both traveling.... both the father and mother are absent and this hasn't been raised with them. My beef is with the media for being uneven in their coverage.

Thanks for the comments -- I really appreciate you taking the time and I know first hand that this is a tough subject.....

Darren said...

You're absolutely right. We wouldn't even be having this conversation if Mr. Palin were running for vice president.

midge said...

I agree that if Gov. Palin were a man this would be a lesser issue. However, has a parent of a special needs infant ever run for high office? Think the subject is fair game. The double standard question is this: Is a mother's absence in an infant's life worse than a father's absence? I honestly think it is.

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