I write this with great trepidation. I'm nervous. I worry about judgement. I don't want to offend. I write this because I found myself stating my opinions as comments on too many blogs. I realized I should just put it out here on mine and invite thoughtful, respectful, and considerate discussion. It's okay to agree to disagree.
I have never been interested in politics. I have my personal views and opinions on the whole political system and the people who are involved within, and I have no desire to discuss that. I will have to say, though, that this election has been so different and I have found myself more interested.
My interest was piqued even more when Sarah Palin entered the scene. Knowing nothing about her before that fateful announcement, I have to say that I think I like her as a politician. She's a firecracker and I think she would be a great addition to the White House. I wonder about her limited experience as a politician but I don't think that disqualifies her to be a vice president and think she can add new and fresh perspective and vigor to a tired, old system. That, to me, is pretty exciting.
A lot of people think she's been scrutinized and judged too much. Maybe she has, maybe she hasn't. I think any candidate is put under the microscope and then the focus is on their personal life and issues as much as their political views. So, for a woman and mother to be put under this same microscope, we're going to get the discussions that we've been having. People say, "we wouldn't be judging a father of 5 if he were in this situation." I think that's true. But it would probably be a different situation. There would most likely be a mom at home to take care of the five children.
And that brings me to my only real issue with Governor Palin. Please keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion. I respect yours, please try to respect mine.
Sarah Palin is a mother, first and foremost. She may want to be a mayor, a governor, or even vice president first and foremost, but she can't. She made motherhood her first responsibility by the fact that she had children. I don't know for sure, but I don't think she would disagree with anything I just said. So for me, it's the priority factor that I see lacking.
I'm sure she would say that her family is a priority and I believe she's done a fantastic job of juggling the family and her political life. I think, though, that taking the office of Vice President would become the priority in her life. How could it not?
I do believe that mothers can work outside the home and still be wonderful mothers and raise well balanced children. But I think it's difficult. I am often amazed at how a working mom can find the energy, time, and desire to be a mom after the energy and time they just put into a job of some kind. I know how exhausted I used to be being a stay at home mom. I couldn't even imagine trying to do an outside the home job, too. Let's be honest moms... motherhood is exhausting.
And even though my personal opinion is that the best scenario is to have the mother stay at home with her children, I'm not saying that all moms should stay home. I'm a realist and I know that we all do what we have to do and I am not here to judge.
So, without trying to judge (I really am trying), I'm having a hard time seeing any mother of five children (not to even mention that two are dealing with special circumstances) take on two such important jobs at one time.
I think of what we, as moms, deal with on a daily basis as a plate. Our plates are all individualized but they are still a plate that only holds so much (we can't make our plates bigger). We have motherhood duties, household chores, maybe a job, volunteer work, or a special project. We have hobbies, kid's activities, things that are important to us such as exercising or church activities. We all know that we can only do so much in a 24 hour period. Oh, how we wish there was more time in the day, but there isn't. We heap onto our plates as much as we can. But, again, our plate only holds so much. When we add something, something else will fall off. We may not even realize that something has fallen off - but it has. Something is being neglected or forgotten.
So back to Sarah Palin. How much of her plate would being the Vice President of the U.S.A. take up? I don't want to pretend to know. But I'm questioning it. I question it because I think that being a mom of five children would, or should, take up most of that plate. I have a hard time not seeing that something important falling off her plate. And I care enough about her children, her as a mother and role model, and the office of Vice President to not question this.
If you are a mom I have some questions for you to reflect on. How many kids do you have? How much energy and time does it take you to be the best mom you can be? What are your children's special circumstances? Do you feel like you've mastered the job of motherhood? How exhausted are you at the end of the day? And two final questions... On top of what you're doing, do you think you could take on another job as big and important as Vice President? What would fall off your plate?