This post is something I have been considering for awhile now. I truly do not want to upset anybody, and so please know that I am writing this in complete sincerity and that this is truly coming from my heart as I have literally lost several hours of sleep thinking about this topic. In my opinion, this topic which I am about to discuss transcends political afflilations and affects our society as a whole. As always, I love comments- even if you disagree with me, and I believe this topic demands discussion, even if in American society it is deemed "politically incorrect" to do so.
The topic I would like to discuss is the Sarah Palin question- the question none of the reporters will ask, but as a mother I feel compelled to discuss. My friend Danielle posted an interesting article about how Palin may affect motherhood. Here is the link: http://www.slate.com/id/2199131
My concern comes from a greater depth than whether or not woman will lose their maternity leave- I am not so much concerned about that as I am about the choices Palin has made herself. I realize that she has excited the Republican base, and that certainly is exciting and wonderful. But, at what cost? As a stay-at-home-mom who gave up a career (which, by the way, I was very good at and had earned the respect of my colleagues, students, and their parents), and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who understands that motherhood is the most important role a woman can undertake (if you are not a member of the Mormon faith, we believe strongly that men and women have certain Godly qualities instilled in us, and as women, the greatest quality we have is that of nurturing and taking care of children), I am very concerned about a mother who would publically humiliate her 17-year-old daughter on national television and leave/neglect her 5 month old son with down syndrome to head on the campaign trail. Last night in her interview with Charles Gibson (yes, I did watch it), he asked if she had to think about whether or not she could be VP. Her response was something like (sorry I don't have the exact quote): I didn't hesitate- when he asked me, I immediately told him that if he thought I would help him win the ticket, I was ready for the task.
That answer once again kept me awake last night. She didn't stop to think about how this would affect her children, her family, her husband? Ben and I have to stop and think about how us going out to dinner and leaving Audra at Grandma and Grandpa's will affect her, let alone taking the second highest position in the world. By her actions, she is showing to me that being VP is more important than being a mother.
This is the Palin question that nobody is talking about: Can you be a good mother and a VP (and potential president)? What is more important as a woman- motherhood or power? For me, that is what it boils down to. For the last 150 years leaders of the Mormon faith have told us time and time again how critical it is that we, as women, be mothers first and foremost. I would guess most, if not all, of you reading this blog have either quit your job, scaled down your hours, turned down a promotion, or the like because you wanted to be a mom first. That is what we value- family. For most of our society, family comes first- not country. Consistently stay-at-home moms talk about being undervalued and unappreciated- I believe Sarah Palin threatens to undervalue us even more.
I truly am not trying to get into politics here. I simply have a very strong belief system that has been engrained in me through my religion and my family that is now being hindered/destroyed by a woman who is purposely choosing to put power over family. I know this sounds sexist and is politically incorrect. But I don't believe I am being a hypocrite- as I said earlier, I gave up a career, money, respect, and power to be a mom. I don't expect everyone else to make that same decision, but I value women who do. I believe being a mom first IS the most important thing, and I hold much more respect for stay-at-home moms than I do female CEO's or female diplomats. I feel the same way about Hilary Clinton- I don't respect her anymore than I do Sarah Palin for the personal decisions she has made, and for the record- I never liked her. In my heart of hearts, I believe it is a bad decision to seek the honors of the world over taking care of your children, regardless of your political affiliation.
There is so much more I could say. But, really, I just felt I needed to say something, because to me this is a much bigger issue than Republicans or Democrats. To me, this is about the sanctity of motherhood. As I said earlier, I would love to hear comments. I am totally OK with people who disagree, but let's just keep this respectful. I have tried to be respectful, and I hope you all realize that and can at least appreciate that even if you disagree. I do belive this is a big question, and so I really did feel that I at least needed to bring it up as something for all of us to think about. Thank you for reading this very long post, and I look forward to reading all of your thoughts on this subject!