Friday, August 29, 2008

The Hardest Thing...

The hardest thing I ever did in my life was have a child and return to work. I had no choice, as Bob was finishing up his degree and I was the bread winner. I worked until Thomas was 22 months old. I hated every single minute I was away from my baby.

So I was quite shocked when I was reading about Governor Palin just now at Wikipedia. She had her youngest child on April 18, 2008. This baby boy has Down Syndrome. This baby is four months old. Four months old.

Personally, I could never spend that much time away from my baby, especially a special needs baby, especially when I knew how much time is going to be spent campaigning.

I will not judge. I will not judge. I will not judge.

I know some women are better mothers when they work. I worked with them. I know no one thinks twice about a man spending that much time away from his baby.

I'm old fashioned and sexist, I guess.

I just find it -- looking for a word here -- strange.

I am sitting here very torn, because I'm all for Women's Lib. I believe wholeheartedly in a woman's right to choose, equal pay for equal work, etc. I really do. And I believe a woman has a right to choose to work or stay home with her child(ren). And I support that choice. But do I in all cases?

I just could never leave my baby, my four-month-old Down Syndrome baby, like that. I just couldn't do it. And sadly, I have the need to force myself to work on being open minded about it.

I had already made my decision to vote for Obama, so this isn't a political thing. It's a mother thing.

Frankie, who has some work to do and fully expects lots of negative comments on this one!

7 comments:

Wisteria said...

I think your comment proves that McCain's decision is not so golden as he thought.

I had to go back to work for 6 weeks after K was born. I, too, found it soooo difficult. I worried the entire time I was away. In fact, one of the motives for moving here was so I could stay home for a while.

I don't judge.

Becky said...

Not from me.

The only time I didn't support the Democratic candidate was back in 1980 with John Anderson, the Independent.

I'm actually more concerned by the fact that Palin hasn't been governor for two entire years yet; that she's governor of a state with a population of fewer than 700,000; the town of which she was mayor has a population of around 7,000; that she's a lifelong member of the NRA; opposes same-sex marriage; and is not pro-choice.

I think it was a gutsy choice to steal the thunder, but I don't know that the bounce will last. She's a fresh face, but her experience is thin and her positions are old-hat. Though I've learned not to expect too much in election years, sigh...

Red said...

I totally am on yoru side, for my 19 year old son is autistic. I stayed home until he was 5 months, then I went to work, but only for 2 days a week...big difference.

I did call my girlfriend and she had a completely differnt angle. She said that child would want for nothing. Well he already wanrs for nothing , his mom is a governer.

He will become the poster child for Downs Syndrome. But I don't think I want my child be in the public spotlight like that.

And he will have a nanny with him at all times. Heeellloo, who is the mother, the nanny or the mother. I do not want my child calling her, 'Mommy'. And you know it will happen. (For it is happeneing with my nephew and mohter-in-law).

So I see both sides, but I am still on the side of a mother staying home, especially when it is a special needs.

*Sorry about the rant*

michellewaite1 said...

I was thinking the same things today. I have friends with children with Downs Syndrome and I know it is a very time consuming process. I also know that in this new role she can do more to advocate for children with disablities than many could help to do.
I know I could barely go grocery shopping with a five month yet alone paricipate in a presidential campaign.
She already must have a system since she has a big job as governer.

Carole said...

You won't get negatives from me either.

I never knew you went to work when Thomas was a baby! I had to do that too, for the same reasons with Michael, for four long years and I hated every minute of it. I just don't get how mom's who have a choice can do that, particularly with a special needs kid.

This is actually the first Democratic Presidential Candidate I will be supporting and praying that Bidden does not put his foot in his mouth like he so often does.

Eight is Enough, and McCain does not get it. His pick was political and it actually sealed my decision to vote for Obama. This article, http://www.boston.com/news/politics/massvoices/2008/08/candidate_mccain_disappoints.html sums up my feelings this morning too.

Sadie said...

I feel the same way. I believe it is the right of the mother to choose. But deep down I believe a parent should be with the kids, not a nanny or daycare...unless it is necessary. And I know some moms are better when they arent around thier kids all the time....but still....I heard this morning she took a 3 day?? maternity leave?? That's hard to relate to.

Gerky said...

I'm sorry Frankie, but I have to disagree with you. My aunt, who is now in her late 50's, was born with downs. My grandparents, who were told to put her in an institution because she would never walk, talk, etc, chose to keep her at home. My Grandma and Grandpa owned a hardware store, farmed a big farm and my grandpa owned a gas business. They worked hard and they worked ALOT. They went against the norm by keeping her at home, spearheaded the movement for families of special needs kids to get help and lead others in their community to raise thier own special needs kids.

But just because my grandma worked did not mean Elaine didn't get the care and love she needed and they needed to lavish upon her. Elaine had 4 brothers and sisters who were older and stepped in when needed. As we saw last night, his big sister will help take care of him...lol.

My parents both worked full time, my grandparents all worked full time. I didn't have brothers and sisters and was a latch key kid. (I honestly would have given anything to be homeschooled but that is another story...lol) My parents turned out pretty good. I turned out pretty good. I learned a good work ethic that I hope will trickle down to my picklets.

I didn't have the same calling as my parents. I need to stay with my kids. It is an urge, a calling. I wanted to see the first steps, hear their first word, give them what I feel is the best chance.

OK, I am off subject...sorry. My point was that I admire Palin. She isn't doing things the way I do them but I think she is right there where she needs to be. Her family seems "real" to me. She is facing the same problems that normal American families face everyday. I am sure there is more that will come out but I think family and the fact she is a working mom should be off limits in the political arena. Concentrating on the political issues, the experience the candidates have and their views should be whats game.

Neither of the presidential candidates are what I would call ideal. But that being said, I do think Palin was a very good choice for VP.

OK, off my soap box. Do you still want to be friends?

Gerky