Friday, September 5, 2008

Wading into the fray

Lordy. Where did the summer go?

Oh, that’s right. I spent the summer from a chair in the nursery. Trying to get little Miss High Maintenance to sleep without someone having to hold her during the entire nap. That's an entire other post that I'm too tired to write.

Instead, I’m going to join the politico fray because I have so many thoughts on this subject ruminating in my head. That’s what I do. See, I’ve taken to walking. Me, Missy and Gus. And since it’s generally a one-way conversation with a dog and a three-month-old as I ramble down some trail, I get to think and talk to myself. A lot.

Sarah Palin. Sigh.

Wonderwoman Hockey Mom? Hmmm....

To be clear, as someone who spent 15 years busting ass on the corporate ladder before jumping off, I am totally stoked that we have a woman on the ticket for vice president.

But I’m just not buying the Hockey Mom thing. I seriously don’t believe that Gov. Palin manages the state affairs of Alaska, has a new baby and finds time to chauffeur her 4 other kids to hockey practice and games. If she does, it is the exception not the rule.

I have a feeling that Gov. Palin doesn’t really have much in common with me as a mom. The fact that she went back to work when her special needs baby was 3 days old is case in point.

I’m advocate for more maternity leave. Paid maternity leave for that matter. As such I don’t think I could see eye-to-eye with a woman who takes a three-day maternity leave when I think that three months is too little. I certainly don't feel comfortable having a woman like this as the representative of what is the "all-American mom" simply because I think it is all spin and little substance.

My bet is she has abdicated a lot of the day-to-day rhythm of parenting to her husband or another caregiver. Which is cool. But doesn't make her Hockey Mom.

Even if you are on your fifth kid and the parenting gig is old hat, there are parts of it – like breastfeeding or pumping - that just take time and can’t be done by dad. Time where you have to focus on what is right in front of you. Time when you have to give your body over to the process of nuturing – whether it is holding, or bathing, or rocking, or simply talking to your children.

And there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do that and run a testosterone-crazed state like Alaska and run on a presidential ticket.

I used to think of myself as a feminist. But if Gov. Palin is the standard bearer of modern day feminism (e.g. I take a three day maternity leave) then I don’t want any part of it. That’s just not reality for 99.9% of women out there. Feminist or not.

I admire her pluck, of course, but I have to seriously question the judgment of someone who is back behind her desk before her milk comes in.

And – my God – I’ll just say all snarky and all because no one else in the mainstream media will – and you know everyone wants to – but how’s THAT for abstinence only sex ed?

Oh, and since when is having to deal with an unplanned teenage pregnancy considered a "everyday problem that normal people deal with," as one woman convention goer was quoted as saying. Sheesh. Are we a nation of PWT?

Poor Bristol. Thrust into the spotlight like that because of her mother’s ambition.

Poor Trig. Who will have to do without his mother around much during his critical first year of life.

Sometimes when mommy wins, the kids lose. That’s just not a victory worth anything in my book.


Fertilized said...

I enjoyed reading this. I have asked myself alot of the same questions. I am still very perplexed over the 3 day maternity leave

L said...

Can Ms. Planner get an "Amen?"

You leave your 3-day old DS child -- and BRAG about doing so -- when you don't have a soul.

megan said...

hear! hear!
also see:

To me, Palin represents the old wave of feminism. The one that screwed us out of motherhood.

Malloryn said...

I'm not a mother but even I am horrified by the thought of a 3 day maternity leave. And this is supposed to be a heroic thing?

L xox said...

I only began reading your blog 2 days ago and have read the WHOLE LOT!!!!
Thank you for being so honest. ITs refreshing to see and an inspiration to those of us still trying to get our pregnancies to last longer than a few weeks.
Nothing witty to add about your possible Vice president, I'm an Aussie :)