Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mommy Wars

This whole Sarah Palin for VP thing has brought to public discussion something that's usually kept among women: the mommy wars. Who's the better mother? The one who stays home or the one who works?

Now. I was raised by a working mother. Not only was she a teacher, she was into local politics and civil associations. She spent a lot of time in our church's Baptist Association and a Sunday school teacher. I remember when she joined the Rotary Club. She was a member of a group called the "Extension Homemaker's Club." Then, she started the family business. I mean, to make a longer story short, my mother was busy. And there were times when she was home enough. And not so much that I wanted her attention, though, there were times when I did, but more because I just wanted my mother at home with me where I could get to here when I needed her. And because she had always intended on being very involved in lots of other activities, she only had two children. I'm the younger.

My father . . . well, I just be honest. When he wasn't physically absent due to work, he was emotionally absent and sometimes just emotionally unavailable.

Now, looking back on my childhood. I can hardly think of a sporting event she missed either of mine or my brother's. She even attended a few school band and chamber choir concerts. She even attended at least one showing of every play I ever did. One incident I remember was when I had to do a skit for my church's Baptist Association's meeting the same Sunday our pastor was preaching at another church. She came with me to see the skit - and I was marvelous by the way. The pastor, now my former pastor, actually got upset about the fact my mother came with me instead of following her. This pastor is extremely sexist and patriarchal, and actually told my father to get on to my mother for haven chosen to come with me instead of him. At the time, I wanted to hug my mother, but we're not that affection of a family. Of course she was going to chose her child over a man who was probably going to preach a sermon we had already hard before.

As I look ahead to my future and the prospects of having children, as much as I hate the thought of being like my mother, I'll probably be involved in a number of different things myself. It'd be nice if my husband made enough so that I wouldn't have to work, but that aside, I know I'll be busy just like my mother.

So, where do I stand on the issue of the "mommy wars"? I stand with my personal and every woman's personal decision. Being a stay-at-home mother makes you no better than a working mother and visa verse. It's up to the woman and it's nobody decision but hers. And ladies, if you're afraid you intended will want you to work and you want to stay home, or want you to stay home when you want to work, guess what - he's not your intended. The decision is yours and yours alone. The only time when there's an exception is when theirs an issue with the family's financial situation in which case, it should be a joint decision.

Now that that's been said, let's get down to the bottom of the issue. The question is what kind of mother Palin's been, the question is what kind of father her husband's been. Not only did her daughter get pregnant and her baby son has Downs Syndrome, her husband's daughter got pregnant and his baby son has Downs Syndrome, too.

So, the issue with the "mommy wars" isn't really about motherhood. Is it? No. It's about fatherhood. If more fathers were at home and involved with their children, there would be less demand on mothers. And I have no intentions of voting for Palin at all, but there should be no questions about how's she to manage being VP and a mother when the woman has a husband.

In fact, there shouldn't be any so-called "mommy war," there should be a "mother vs father" war. Fathers step up! I know you think providing for your family is enough. I know that may have been all your father did. So what. He was wrong and so are you. Your children need your time and emotional involvement, too. Let me make it perfectly clear: it's babysitting when you're watching someone else kid; when it's your child, it's called being a father!

And I just heard Rachel Maddow quote John McCain saying that Sarah Palin was his "soul mate." I'm telling ya, Cindy better watch out.

And lastly, this whole notion that Palin's more experienced than Obama is false and the argument is wrongheaded. A person's level of experience doesn't guarantee a successful outcome and could make things worse.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis