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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Politics of Motherhood

When I heard the news that was coming from John McCain's campaign early Friday morning that he had selected Sarah Palin as his running mate I couldn't have been more excited. My husband actually said a few months ago, "If McCain's smart, he'll pick Palin." He's a politics nerd, if you ask me. But I guess he should have headed to Vegas and put money on this one. Because he was right.

Yes, I just said that... out loud. My husband was RIGHT.

As soon as I heard, I read up a little on her to remind myself of who she was so that when I picked up the phone to call him I would sound a little knowledgable about her.

But, once on the phone with him, you know what my first question was? "Do you really think it's a good idea? I mean, a mom of 5 with a 4 month old.... as Vice President? Really?"

We figure they've got some kind of system worked out. Maybe he has taken over with the kids for the most part. Maybe they have a great live-in nanny. Maybe she just works from home a lot. Who knows.

But, apparently, I'm not the only one asking this question. I found myself a little comforted to read this article in the New York Times showing other women with the same thoughts.

Here are some things I've been thinking...

Can you imagine every mothering move you make being under the national political spotlight?

No thanks. Not me. I'm way too moody. I'd end up yelling, "WHAT?!?" to the President after a crying baby all night long and yelling over and over at the rest of the kids to PLEASE get their homework done.

I mean, it's already begun. People questioning her going back to work 3 days after giving birth. People are questioning her accepting this job knowingly putting her oldest daughter under media scrutiny.

Listen, I'm a working mother. I know how hard it is. I want to be the best at everything. There is something in me, in how God hardwired me, that drives me to seek employment outside of my home. But, on the flipside of that coin, I am driven to be the best wife and mom I can be. For me, that means a part-time job and my house is rarely, if ever, clean.

What does it mean for the Vice President of the United States of America?

I dont' know.

But one thing I've learned in my 7 1/2 years of mothering and 35 years of living... yes, 35... is that I can't judge what is right for someone else.

Let me put it this way: The answer that God has given me for my family is not necessarily the same answer for anyone else. There isn't just one way to do this mothering thing. While it might be right for me to work 30 hours a week, it might be right for my friend Cristel to recognize that she can't do that, and it might be right for my friend Keal and my sister to work for themselves so they can set their own hours...

See where I'm going with this?

I've recognized that I can't make a judgement call about what is right for Sarah Palin's family. I know what I think and what would be right for me and that would not include taking on such a job. However, I also think of Esther and how greatness was thrust upon her... she didn't ask for it, didn't seek it, it just happened because she was open to what God had called her to do.

I pray that Sarah Palin is right where God wants her. I pray for her family.

I believe that there is a reason that Mr. McCain and his campaign were drawn to her.

I believe that she is the woman for such a time as this.


Kay said...

I was thinking the same thing while making breakfast today... who takes care of her kids?... she and the hubs must have deal worked out or something. I am not a political person, although I *do* vote etc. But this is certainly more exciting to watch. She's fascinating!

Brittany said...

I'm excited to see this post! I was wondering some of those same things. However, I heard (on some news media somewhere) that she takes the baby to work with her. I find that hard to believe, but I heard it. (Maybe Mike knows?) Anyway, I'm excited about her. I like the way she's handled the birth of her precious son. I like the way they are so far handling the pg of her dd. I just think I like her.

I would also bet she can keep her house cleaner than ours because she has a house cleaner. I don't know, but I'm guessing. ha!

Also, I didn't know you're 35. When's your b'day? Am I older than you? Mine is Oct. 9.

Michelle V said...

Well said! I am also pretty excited about her as the VP nomination.


Bridgette said...

What better words...
For such a time as this!

I think this is going to be exciting! What a great husband to be able to help her for such a time as this! I know right now, if it weren't for my husband, I wouldn't be as successful in the ministry. He helps me around the house and with the kids when I am on a deadline. I am so thankful for him. I am sure that she is very thankful for her man as well!
I pray for strength for their family, I know this must be hard to face the media. I pray that they will persevere.