Palin’s Choice, Mommy Consequences


Upon hearing of John McCain’s veep pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, I thought, hmmmmm, he chose a woman (I predicted he’d make such a move to my husband a week ago.) Then I heard she has five children. Double hmmmmm. Raised in a family of five children by a mother who ran the PTA, then founded and ran a small business with my Dad, I was impressed, shall we say, that Palin would enter such a campaign and potential position. There weren’t enough hours in the day for my mother to run her business and family and worry about both. She is an exceptional leader and organized and efficient manager by nature. Heck, she could have run for office. But when discussing Palin’s candidacy she said to me, “Whenever someone came knocking for me to run for a local office, I didn’t see how I could do it with all of you. I didn’t want to take that on.” Thanks, Mom.

Then, I learned that Palin’s 5th child is four months old. Four months old!!! I was still postpartum four months after delivering each child. So kudos to Palin for having her hormones in check enough to coolly deliver a speech at the press conference. But how good can it be for an infant to be carted around to campaign events?

When my own son was four months old, I was heartbroken to return to work part-time. And I rushed home to spend every extra moment with him. Now, I’m all for mothers working full-time or running a business or whatever. (I actually launched a magazine on the side, so to speak, after returning to work part-time. It helped that Son went to sleep at 6 pm each evening.) But choosing to have a big family demands a certain attention to said family that the campaign trail can only prevent.

Then I learned that Palin’s infant son has Down’s Syndrome. And now I think she’s just plain irresponsible. Equal rights or not, at some point a mother needs to make a choice to care for her child. Period. Equal rights in the workplace don’t eliminate the need to make smart choices. Especially when you have the financial ability to choose your work.

And choosing to have a child with special needs is a choice that demands some follow through. It’s one thing to put your pro-life beliefs into practice. It’s another to “choose life” then choose a candidacy that will most likely leave your special needs infant son in the arms of another. Yes, the beauty of our country is that Palin’s choice is hers to make. It just wouldn’t be mine.


  1. I liked your blog, and your comments about Palin. I am not a fan of hers, mainly because we differ greatly on political and social views, but I am happy a woman has risen from the PTO up. One thing to think about…if a man was in her position, no one would question him, because everyone would assume his wife was taking care of family/baby. Maybe Sarah Palin’s hunky husband will be home giving baby the attention she can’t…does it matter which parent is there to nurture baby. If I were her, I might be concerned, with all that time away working, that hunky husband may cozy up with some stay-at-home-and-bake-cookies type he meets at the playground.

    Personally, I can’t imagine being away from my 3 kids that much – not because I think they would suffer so, I am sure kids of women who work 80 hours a week get used to it, it’s just not the way I would EVER want to experience the greatest experience of them all – parenting! (with all it’s bleary-eyed, worrisome moments).

  2. COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!!!!!! Right now I am pulling my hair out just trying to get three kids off to school (probably shouldn’t be emailing, ugh) and trying to figure out if I can squeeze a shower in before C’s dr’s appointment and gymnastics…no chance for a workout this morning…glad I’m not trying to squeeze a shower in before a meeting with a head of state or something mundane like that!
    Gotta go yell at the kids and then hope we aren’t late for school!

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