The conversation about work and family, and about working mothers, and about “family values,” and about the realities of raising a special needs child, and about parental judgement, and about what makes a “good mother,” has never been more interesting. Why? Because of Sarah Palin’s vice presidential candidacy.
I got an early look at Lisa Belkin’s essay “Palin Talk” which will appear in the 10/5 issue of the New York Times Magazine. In it, she explores the surprising reactions she’s heard from other mothers:
Looking back at the early response to Palin, I am struck by how many of the sentences that were written, spoken and shouted by people, began with ‘‘I.’’ As in: ‘‘I have a special-needs baby, and I wouldn’t dream of running for the hardest job in the world while he is an infant.’’ Or ‘‘I have a special-needs baby, and Palin’s my hero for showing you can raise a child and work.’’…Even more interesting was how often these views came from the mouths of women who I would have predicted would be saying something else.
Fascinating reading. Parent Hacks isn’t a political blog and I have no desire to fuel the partisan fires. But, on the eve of the vice presidential candidates’ debate, I can’t help but think about how Sarah Palin has caused me to reflect on my own work/parenting choices.
Note: I would ask that any conversation we have about this post remains focused on the topic I’ve brought up, and that it stays respectful and reasonable. I’m not looking for political debate, but for intelligent talk about the real-world parenting choices we all make. Thanks. — Asha