Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Family Values

Being a mom is the great joy of my life, it is one of the great challenges of my life. Growing up in a nontraditional family made me long for a traditional family, a family that would not be judged harshly. I worried about these things when I was little. I am better now, but I seem to have a traditional family. What the hell is traditional? I have no idea. I know now all that teenage self doubt was irrelevant.

Having said that, I feel pretty strongly about Sarah Palin's private choices. I remember discussing Obama's choice before he decided to run and the worry that Michelle had and the concern him and Michelle had about the children being in the spotlight. Of course the couple prayed about the decision and certainly were guided by a higher purpose.

I have not had that context w/ the Palins. I imagine there was significant prayer involved in her decision-making and that the prayer led her to take McCain's offer. So I assume she must feel strongly she is doing this for God, or a higher purpose. I am not demeaning that, it is a legitimate way to make decisions.

I really want to know though- WHY? Why is she forsaking her family for the selfish pursuit of politics?

As some know, I received a neighborly phone call while pursuing the democratic nomination to run for City Council. This person demanded I stay home with my children and not pursue local politics. I tried to tell her reasons why I was running (primarily to benefit my children and their peers) and that my husband is an engaged and active father who supports my decision. She would not hear my explanation. So I understand to a degree that many will judge, and often harshly no matter what a mother is doing or worse, NOT doing.

I want to hear, and I promise to listen and be respectful, why does she believe it is ok to leave her troubled family and campaign for Vice President, a 24 hour a day job?
During the RTD panel, a woman stated strongly that a choice to run for office inherently is not putting your family first. I disagreed, as I can be quite disagreeable, but we came to common ground- I can understand her point, and she could understand my point.

I am a mother- I understand work-life balance, I cannot understand a mother taking on such a terrific challenge when there is so much at home to be taken care of (nevermind placing the 17yo in the media spotlight). Fathers? I expect they too would recognize the need and be present and available for the children. Ultimately, parents must work together to protect and nurture their children.

I am open to constructive feedback and may change my mind if Palin and her family explain this in a non-Stepford way.

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