Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Thoughts on the Palins Personal Life

It is a sad fact that when someone steps into the spotlight in this country that every little detail of their lives is brought up and examined under the microscope. I admire those that step forward knowing that fact. I am finding how all this plays out quite interesting.

I will admit that when I first heard the news that the Palin's daughter is pregnant that my heart sank because I knew how some would react to that news. Being the mother of a wayward daughter, I know first hand the judgement that comes with it. Laying the election aside, I can't help but feel a sadness for them. So often people use children as a barometer to measure the success of the parents. I've been guilty of it myself where others are concerned and then for myself when things have gone awry in my own home. There is no such thing as perfect parenting and there is no such thing as perfect kids.

I am troubled by the fact that some are saying that Sarah Palin obviously needs to be taking care of her family. I wish I could say that I am surprised by that, but I am not. It carries the assumption that if a mother works outside of the home that she is incapable of effectively caring for her family and if something goes wrong in her family she is somehow to blame. We made the decision for me to stay home with our children and, initially, just until they were all in school. I did go to work full-time for a relatively short time. I enjoyed my job very much, however, in the end we decided to have me come back home. During that time I did not stop caring for my family. It just looked different than it did before and in some areas it was an improvement. During that time that I worked we sat down and ate together as a family every single night. I also actually kept up on the laundry because I knew I didn't have the time to get caught up later if I got behind. Many women have to work. It is offensive to me for people to make the assertion about any woman that if they work that any family problems are because their family isn't their priority.

As for the Palins' pregnant daughter... It is always interesting to me when that happens that it is assumed that something went wrong in the home. Does no one remember being young? When you are a teen you lack the life experience to see beyond your current circumstances. Does no one remember what it is like to fall in love? Does no one remember being carried away with passion for someone? Uh... hello??? I don't know about y'all but when my babies were made, and I was pregnant before we got married, it had nothing to do with my parents or some lack of time, attention or affection from home. I was in love. Pure and simple.

I am also disturbed by some of the asinine assumptions that Palin is somehow responsible for her child being Down's. I even heard about some wondering if she'd received the proper pre-natal care. Wow. I have an aunt who just turned 51 on Saturday who is Down Syndrome. She suffered some additional brain damage when she came down with Scarlett Fever as a teen. She has never been able to care for herself. Does that mean she is less than? Is her life of no value and is she nothing more than a burden to our family? Why is having a child who is born disabled seen as a tragedy and something one is forced to endure?

I also don't think that this will affect the election. It is nothing more than the airing of dirty laundry... and so far, the laundry really ain't that dirty.

*On posts such as this one where I am just stating my opinion I am going to leave the following discussion in the comments. However, if I feel a comment should be brought out and put into the post, I will do that.

One Salient Oversight had this to say:

Okay, why did McCain choose Palin? He chose her as a way of wooing social conservatives such as Evangelicals and Dobson followers.

All the Christian blogs I have visited since the announcement were effusive in praise for the decision and many felt that the election had become far more interesting to them.

*It's certainly a lot more interesting to me!

In that sense, the decision by McCain worked - it got evangelicals VERY interested.

Nevertheless, amongst social conservatives there is an assumption that what is practised in Christian homes should be practised by the nation's leaders. Criticisms were made about Clinton's immorality, for example.

My personal belief is that while Palin is responsible for Trig's birth she is not responsible for his disability. There was always a risk that this would happen in an older woman's pregnancy, but, in the end, no woman is "responsible" for any problems her baby might have (except for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome of course).

Is Palin responsible for her daughter's pregnancy? In one respect her daughter is responsible for her own actions, but on the other hand she is not old enough to meet the standard criteria of "adult" (which is an arbitrary age of 18). She is living under her parent's roof, which means that some responsibility must be assumed.

*I agree to a point. I also have three teenagers and know first hand that you cannot control everything where they are concerned.

However, my personal feeling is, again, that this is something between the Palin family and God.

But why are social conservatives so willing to defend "their" candidate while being condemning of the opposition one?

John Edwards was panned for being unfaithful to his wife by commentators on Hannity and Colmes. Sean Hannity went ballistic, saying that this unfaithfulness proves that he would unreliable as a president. Colmes then pointed out that McCain was an adulterer too. Hannity responded by saying that he was a POW - as though being a prisoner of war justified his adultery.

*In my opinion, I have a hard time being able to trust a candidate that has been unfaithful because we Americans are mainly just a faceless mass. If a man/woman cannot be faithful to his/her spouse... a person that they are intimate with and love and have had children with that would be affected by the unfaithfulness... how can you believe that they will be faithful to the faceless masses? There is nothing, to me, that justifies adultry. If you are that unhappy get out legally and then move on.

Does it bother me that McCain was unfaithful? Yes. Does it cause me to question his integrity? Yes. The fact that he has been married to his second wife for 30 years also counts though. People make mistakes.

There's a meme out there called "IOIYAR" - "It's okay if you're a Republican". If Sarah Palin was a pro-choice, Democratic candidate, would a pregnant teen and a disabled child be grounds for social conservatives to argue that she is not fit to be VP? I have a feeling that they would.

*Sadly, you are probably right.


AmusedMomma said...

Here! Here! Well put!

Roland Hulme said...

I've heard both, actually. "She should be at home with her kids!" and "It's her own fault for having that last baby too late!"

I think it proves her commitment to pro-life, though. to have kept a baby she knows will have Downs Syndrome AND to have supported her daughter keeping her baby. Talk about 'money where her mouth is.'

muffintop said...

Ditto to Roland.

Also, I am in the midst of feeling that "stay home or not stay home" pressure. We have an 8-month-old son, and it has always been important to both my husband and me that I be a full-time, stay-at-home-mom for our children. Unfortunately, though, my husband's job just isn't paying the bills. So what's a mom to do? What's the most loving thing? Does getting a job to help pay the bills to keep a roof over my baby's head mean I value work over family? Um, NO. Does having a 2nd income mean I'm only a part-time mom? Pretty sure that's a no as well. I will be a full-time mom until my kids are grown. Regardless of what else I do.

I don't know Sarah Palin personally. I'm not peeking in her windows and watching the ins and outs of her family life. Is she neglecting her family? Maybe. But I don't think that it's fair to make that assumption just because she's not staying home full-time. You can stay home and still neglect your family's needs.

AmusedMomma said...

OSO -- Your arguements about Mr. Clinton and Mr. Edwards and Miss Palin are apples and oranges.

Clinton and Edwards were candidates/office holders. Palin is the child of a candidate.

Accidental housewife said...

I am confused by those people who compare getting a blow job in the White House while you are president of the United States from a girl young enough to be your daughter to a VP 17 year old daughter being pregnant. I just don't see it as apples to apples. Palin did not deny it when asked, she confirmed her daughter was pregnant. She is not lying to a federal officer as Bill did. People go to prison for lying to a federal officer. He got slapped on his wrist.