Friday, September 5, 2008

working 9 to 5

I'm getting immense joy seeing all those conservatives touting a woman's right to have a career and a family.

Because I gotta say, I have *not* been feeling that love before this week.

I work 20 hours/week. We have 2 children. We have had excellent childcare. Husband D. is an extremely involved father. I feel immensely lucky that we have managed to end up with this arrangement.

But I have been told as various times by various conservatives that I:
- was shirking in my duties by "letting someone else raise my kids"
- was putting ambition before my true vocation of motherhood
- was not a "real" mother because real mothers stay home with their kids. All the time.

I'm no Governor. I'm not campaigning for anything. I don't have 5 kids. I don't have a pregnant daughter and I don't have a special needs son.

Me, I couldn't do what Palin is doing. She seems to love it and seems to be thriving. Honestly, I don't think I could throw my daughter into the national spotlight if she were going through a major crisis. Ever. But that's me.

So, you won't hear me saying that Palin isn't a real mother...or that she is putting her ambition in front of her children. I may silently think it for a moment or two. But then I will try to remember all the people who have accused me of the same thing. And I will hold judgment. Or try to, anyway.

But still - I am enjoying seeing these tables turn.


Bridgett said...

the cognitive dissonance must be amazing for them. I agree.

Songbird said...

K, thanks for your comment over at my place!
I'm sorry you're dealing with people making those sorts of remarks about your life. I've been about every kind of mother you can imagine (married/divorced/remarried/SAHM/part-time worker/part-time seminarian/full-time pastor), in each situation trying to weigh what's best for the kids and for me and for my marriage when applicable, and it is hard work just figuring that stuff out! A lot of the assumptions people make are just that, and I admit to being full of assumptions about Sarah Palin. The problem comes not when we have thoughts but when we take actions based on them, such as interfering in another person's peace of mind as directly as people have done in talking to you.

Diva Mom Vicki said...

Coming at it from the conservative side, I find it amazing how many liberals in the media are questioning Sarah's choice to run - as if she couldn't possibly be a good Mother AND Vice President.

I get the feeling liberals think it's fine if a Mother works... as long as she's not a conservative Mother.

But yes, I've also seen some pretty heated debate on Catholic (conservative) Mom's message boards this week whether Sarah was being a bad Mother by not staying home. I know there is that fringe element. Just as there is the fringe liberal element who can't believe that a woman would be satisfied staying home full-time and 'just being a Mom'.

I remember at Bittyman's 18 month check-up, the new female pediatrician (who had small children of her own who were in daycare) told me point blank that I was stunting Bittyman's social development by keeping him at home.

Needless to say I immediately changed pediatricians. But point being is that sadly, so many Moms are not secure in the choices they have made for themselves and their families so they are constantly judging the decisions other Moms make - and what they are really looking for is validation that they've made the right choices themselves.

Every Mom (on both sides of the aisle) needs to make choices that are best for her family - and be so secure in those decisions that they don't need to judge other Moms who make different choices. Working outside the home or not, breastfeeding v. formula, cloth v. disposable, all that stuff.

Then maybe these crazy Mommy wars would stop and we could all support each other in our vocation. 'Cause Lord knows all Moms can use all the help we can get!

K said...

Agreed on the support each other thing!

The thing is - at work, we never really discuss politics. I suspect I work with a fair number of republican mothers (I'm in an accounting firm, after all!) So, at work, the playing field seems level and accepting. It's when I go to the playgroups or the kid-related events that I get the judgment!

V, I remember that first Dr. of yours. That was CRAZY! One of these days, you should bring him back to her - "See this brilliant child of mine? Didn't turn out so badly, did he?" : )