I have lived the life of a liberated woman; I am divorced, re-married and my husband and I have four kids between us. I had a career in the financial industry before I had kids at 28 and I currently have a career in real estate that allows me to juggle my time between work and family and am fortunate that my current husband supports prioritizing my kids as much as possible.
When my first child was born, I learned something very important; I realized that one of the greatest contributions I could make to society would be to nurture my child and teach her all I could about love and commitment myself. I felt that if I could sacrifice and spend as much time with her as possible, especially in her early years, being her primary caregiver would build between us a bond that would make her a better, more secure individual who could then take that sense of connection out into the world without hesitation. I am not saying that caregivers who are not parents cannot offer much love and compassion but there is no role like mother (or father who in some cases is the primary caregiver) that has so much influence over a child’s development, character and confidence.
Some parents are unable to stay home with their children. Due to financial responsibility, both parents must work to make ends meet. I know these decisions are difficult and I am sure that all mothers agonize over being unable to care for their small children on their own. What I don’t understand are women who choose not to prioritize their children and strive more for power and public recognition than to build a strong and consistent relationship with their own children.
This is how I feel about Sarah Palin. Here is a woman relatively unknown nationally until a few weeks ago who is now in line to be one of the most powerful people in the world. She has talked publicly about her choice to give birth to a special needs child but who will care for that child on a daily basis as she heads to Washington? Am I the only one who has looked at both Presidents and Vice Presidents in years past and noticed how much they age in the four years of constant demands on their time and energy? The schedules are physically grueling and mentally I imagine the pressure of responsibility for a nation might take a daily toll on someone. Add to that someone who at the end of the day has kids that cry out for “mommy” not knowing where she is and why she is unavailable to them consistently.
Don’t think that I am against a woman in a position of power in general. I absolutely believe a woman could make a wonderful leader of our nation and the last few months have encouraged me that it is only a matter of time before it happens but give me someone whose kids are grown and self sufficient, who is not abandoning small children at home. Give me someone who is nationally known and recognized; active in both national and international politics for years before they would even consider running for this high an office.
My mom’s lesson to me at an early age was absolutely true: a woman can do anything and everything. Just not all at the same time and still do it well. Where will Sarah Palin fall short? At home or in the White House? I think it is a shame either way and if she is such a great politician, she should consider running on her own eight or more years from now.