(Very long post ahead!)
I am not very surprised that there are so many mommies out there with conflicting thoughts on Sarah Palin's decision to run for Vice President. She is pro-life. She's a woman with children. She did not choose to kill her unborn child when she was told he would be born with an extra chromosome. But she is also a working woman, shouldn't she be putting her family first? I have read many different opinions written about these concerns written by mostly mommy bloggers (I refuse to read any of the dribble coming from the MSM) and have refrained from weighing in with my own opinion until I gave myself the chance to reconcile it in my own mind.
So, since this is my blog, I get to share my opinion now and I hope that anyone reading this who does not share my opinion will give it the same open minded consideration with which I gave everyone else's.
My first reaction was "WHOO-HOO SHE'S PRO LIFE!!!". Which is true. She is the most pro life candidate on any ticket right now. But she is also a working woman and would I be contributing to taking her away from her family or subconsciously contributing to the feminist ideology that a woman can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan (so what if she has to have a nanny clean the pan, stock the refrigerator and raise her children while she does it)? This one is a struggle for me because I grew up in a working woman family. My mom worked, my grandmother worked, all my aunts worked. The only SAHM I knew lived down the street and everyone always wondered what in the world that woman did all day while her two kids were in school? Making the decision to care for the feeding, clothing, and education (both spiritual and physical) of my children at home was a slap in the face to the women in my family. But it was a decision I thought was right, so that meant that their decision must be wrong; because we women all know that we are looking for the right answer and things tend to be so black and white in our little worlds. ; )
Here is where the title of this post comes in. I have been guilty of assuming that all working moms were an insult to the vocation of motherhood. I think it was a strong reaction to the destruction that the feminist movement did in tearing down motherhood, but a pendulum that swings just as strongly to the opposite side is still just as far removed from moderation as the first movement. I was wrong. Motivation, or as our faith calls it, intention, makes all the difference between eternal damnation and a slap on the wrist should a bus drive over us before we have had a chance to confess our wrongdoing. Some working moms are doing it for the paycheck and not because they desperately need it in order to put food on the table; rather, these moms want to pick up the pretty clothes from the dry cleaner, put the freshly pedicured toes in the fancy shoes, and to put the new hand carved dining table in the ginormous formal dining room that no one ever sits in because the grownups are always off trying out the latest fancy restaurants (who has time to cook anymore?). It is pretty obvious that these woman are working to maintain a lifestyle that doesn't seem to be centered around the needs of their children.
But life is not always that black and white? Does Sarah Palin's choice make our choice invalid? Does supporting her decision negate mine?
Not all jobs are "just a job". We have been so conditioned to believe that all politicians are career politicians when they actually should be public servants. Think of the founding fathers. They were farmers, land speculators, merchants, doctors, scientists and even a college president. They believed in serving the community by formally separating themselves from the tyrannical rule of King George. It is this notion of "public servant" that is what makes Sarah Palin different than some power babe on the fast track to promotions and perks.
Let's look at her motivations or intentions... When her oldest child was in school, she joined the PTA, which this former public school teacher can tell you that the best way to make sure that your child does well in all of their school experiences. From there she ran for city council. Not the makings of a career politician, just a woman interested in her community. Her duties rarely took her away from her children during the time they were not in school with the exception of twice a month meetings most of which start in the evening. I've known some moms who are away from their kids more than that because of Bible Study, Familia, Scrapbook Circle or Stitch'N Pitch. Heck, I leave my kids with their father sometimes to go exercise, shop for groceries, or just get a cup of coffee! Again, does this sound like the makings of a career politician? Not to me. In fact, Sarah Palin's background was in journalism, not exactly one of the fast tracks to political life. She then ran for mayor, governor and well, you know the rest.
Some of these things happened while she had small children and for that some mommy bloggers are condemning her for putting the needs of her children last, for proving that a mother can be replaced in a child's life. That's true. A mother can be replaced in a child's life and sometimes God asks that of us. My grandmother was raised by her mother, but some of her younger siblings called a different woman "Mama". Little Peter Torres's father has had to replace the presence of his mother, Susan, who passed suddenly and tragically. I do believe that the best situation is one that allows both parents to be the primary care givers for their children and since most women are better suited to a nurturing role, then they would be the best ones to nurture and care for the youngest children, however this world is fallen and best case scenarios are sometimes few and far between. But notice, I said "MOST". There is a big difference between saying "the best place for most women is caring for their children at home" and saying "a woman's only place is in the home". To determine what kind of role God has for us in the world; sometimes we have to ask ourselves that question that some actors utter ad nauseum, "What's my motivation?"
I don't believe that Sarah Palin's intention was to be a career politician. I don't believe that her intention was to put her job ahead of her family. It's pretty hard to find a picture of her anywhere without them! I don't believe that Sarah Palin is motivated by the same self centered desires that some other women who have been in a similar position are.
But even if you do... even if you believe that Sarah Palin's story is a slap in the face of the vocation of motherhood. Even if you believe that voting for her is in some way contributing to taking her away from her children, I ask you to consider this:
The abortion issue.
The pro-choice liberals have banked their entire gruesome platform on the lie that an abortion does not kill a child, because they know that no one would agree to killing a child. It can't be a child, a baby, a person; it has to be a blob of tissue or a fetus. Their whole world comes crumbling down around them if it is a child, a baby, a person with rights. What if this is bigger than a working outside the home vs. working inside the home issue? What if he is calling Sarah and her family to make sacrifices for the sake of His Kingdom? What if God knows that this is the only way to crush the head of this ugly serpent? Could a pro-life man make this kind of impact? What if it has to be a woman?
If Rosie the Riveter hadn't gone to work, would we have won the war against The Nazi's? Ladies, the abortion issue is a war and it is being waged against the most innocent of God's children. Children like Trig Palin are being eradicated from the face of this earth in huge numbers. In 2002, 91-93% of all positive Down Syndrome diagnoses ended with a dead baby. If Sarah Palin's life, career, family and example helps eliminate that percentage, then she has my support!
"...we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and ... a servant's heart. I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States." ~ Sarah Palin