Monday, September 8, 2008

Mother and Governor

Sorry for the late and light posting today! I'm finding Mondays, now that we're back in school, a bit more challenging.

This New York Times article is an interesting read for those women who are still concerned about whether a woman like Sarah Palin can really juggle motherhood and a political life:

No one has ever tried to combine presidential politics and motherhood in quite the way Ms. Palin is doing, and it is no simple task. In the last week, the criticism she feared in Alaska has exploded into a national debate. On blogs and at PTA meetings, voters alternately cheer and fault her balancing act, and although many are thrilled to see a child with special needs in the spotlight, some accuse her of exploiting Trig for political gain.

But her son has given Ms. Palin, 44, a powerful message. Other candidates kiss strangers’ babies; Ms. Palin has one of her own. He is tangible proof of Ms. Palin’s anti-abortion convictions, which have rallied social conservatives, and her belief that women can balance family life with ambitious careers. And on Wednesday in St. Paul, she proclaimed herself a guardian of the nation’s disabled children. [...]

Ms. Palin’s three-day maternity leave has now become legend among mothers. But aides say she eased back into work, first stopping by her office in Anchorage for a meeting, bringing not only the baby but also her husband to look after him.

Many high-powered parents separate work and children; Ms. Palin takes a wholly different approach. “She’s the mom and the governor, and they’re not separate,” Ms. Cole said. Around the governor’s offices, it was not uncommon to get on the elevator and discover Piper, smothering her puppy with kisses.

“She’ll be with Piper or Trig, then she’s got a press conference or negotiations about the natural gas pipeline or a bill to sign, and it’s all business,” Ms. Burney, who works across the hall, said. “She just says, ‘Mommy’s got to do this press conference.’ ”

Ms. Palin installed a travel crib in her Anchorage office and a baby swing in her Juneau one. For much of the summer, she carried Trig in a sling as she signed bills and sat through hearings, even nursing him unseen during conference calls.

Todd Palin took a leave from his job as an oil field production operator, and campaign aides said he was doing the same now.

I'm glad that details like this are coming out. Whatever else we can say about Sarah Palin, I think the idea that she's a typical career woman is definitely wrong.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Thank you for pointing out this article. I stay home with three little ones, and with my husband deployed, I don't go to so much as a PTA or HOA meeting, because I would have my baby in tow. But this point about Palin, that maybe you really can have a baby with you for more than just grocery shopping . . . talk about a new paradigm for moms who want to work!