Tuesday, September 9, 2008
They say Sarah Palin is causing the Mommy Wars to boil over into soccer fields and grocery store aisles. I can't imagine what people are getting so worked up over. Yeah, she's got five kids and she works, but does anyone really believe that she gets up and throws a load of wash on, cleans up the cat vomit, and empties the dishwasher? I don't.
I took all the feminist lit classes in college. In fact, though it's worth nearly nothing, I had a double major in Women's Studies. During my first pregnancy, I put in for a two week leave, figuring I would just find the kid a babysitter. I had someone in mind midway between Dr. Seuss and Mary Poppins. The kid would be just fine.
Of course, I had zero experience with infants; I had never babysat as a teenager (I edited papers instead), and I liked my job. He was going on formula, to daycare, and I was returning to full time work. After Christopher was born, I did none of those things. The entire world dropped away, and Christopher was the new center. I found becoming a mom the most life-altering experience possible.
But that's just me. I have friends who really DID return to work at the six week mark and they never looked back.
But here's the catch: Sarah Palin has help. Lots of it. I made my own baby food, scrubbed my own floors, and never once hired a babysitter. There just isn't time to tend to five kids and be a mayor if you don't have lots of help. There just isn't time to shower if you are taking care of five kids by yourself.
So what are people arguing about? I don't get it. The media is portraying this power mom as if she works around the clock, baking muffins and screaming at hockey matches,then coming home to grind wheat for her kids' muffins before passing a law about polar bears. Nobody in public office does what stay at home moms do because stay at home moms don't usually have a staff.
I won't even get into how much her political philosophy scares me. But I wanted to know what the kids thought, or if they had anything to say about her gender. They had never seen her before, and when I showed them her picture, my two boys commented that she looked "...like a regular mom" while my youngest looked at it and said, "She looks like the lady who sells the Lenscrafter glasses." None of them thought about whether or not she was raising kids or was male or female. Wouldn't it be great if everyone thought that way - then listened to the issues? Right now, it seems the biggest issue is gender and lifestyle choice, and that should have nothing to do with policy.