September 9, 2008

Palin Comparison

This is not a political post. Cross my heart and hope to see Amy Winehouse naked.

Much has been made of McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Many arguments for and against are legitimate, many are not. But one topic about which the jury is still out is that of Palin's motherhood. Some say it's relevant. Others cry foul, complaining of sexism. After all, we never show much concern about a family if a man running for office has children. We don't worry about the detrimental effects running for the highest office might have on a man's kids. And in my opinion, that, in and of itself, is sexist in the opposite direction.

In Palin's case, I think it's a consideration, though one she should be making, not us. After all, she's got a pregnant 17 year old daughter and if anyone should be helping her daughter though this, its her mom. In addition her youngest is an infant and also has special needs. Some nights - most nights - Owen wakes up and wants absolutely nothing to do with me in favor of his mom. I can't begin to imagine the pressure on Palin as a mom much less a vice president. But should she have accepted the call to serve? That's her call, not mine.

I feel, however, that I can at least form an opinion because I'm the farthest thing from sexist on this topic as it's possible to be. Because I'm wrestling with something similar to this myself.

I work at a company in which performance and values are very seriously evaluated. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I'm good at what I do. As such, I've been promoted quickly and get near-daily opportunities to expand my career. I take the ones I'm comfortable taking and leave some on the table for others. But I've taken enough and been successful enough with them that people are talking about the next big promotion. This one's a biggie. There's a lot of work I have to do to get myself prepared not to mention the work once I get it. Yet my biggest concerns aren't status, a title or money. Instead their names are Beth, Mia and Owen.

Mia's gotten sensitive about me leaving for work in the morning without being given the opportunity to give me a hug and a kiss and wave goodbye as I roll down the street. So I've started getting her up in the mornings. Yesterday morning she started tearing up when I told her I was leaving. No doubt, this has something to do with the whole preschool debacle but it ripped my heart out when she said but I don't want you to go to work because I want you to stay here and play with me. I told her I'd like nothing better.

I enjoy work. I like what I do and appreciate the responsibilities I've been given. It's an important outlet for me and I think I'm pretty good at it. But when push comes to shove - or, honestly, without any pushing or shoving at all - I'm going to choose my family any day.

I'm just one guy with one opinion. How about you? Is Palin's choice selfish or is it worth the trade off for all the damage to the proverbial glass ceiling she's doing? And knowing what you know about me, what should I do in my situation?

Posted by Chris at September 9, 2008 8:12 AM
Comments

I saw on the news last night that the whole Palin "banning books" thing was a hoax. You might want to print a retraction to what you printed in your facts about Palin section from a few days ago.

Posted by: harrylips at September 9, 2008 8:32 AM

A choice in the Palin type of situation would be worth it if the woman is qualified for the job. However, I am a big believer in family needs to come first in every situation, but if a woman has the support of her family to go for it then she should.

You? I'd say it is a big discussion between you and Beth. You are young...is this a situation that will come up again in 3 - 5, 10 years? If so it might be worth it to wait. Kids are only kids for a very short time. By the time they hit the "tweens" you are so far out of their radar and that is a great time for promotions. If, however, this is something that might not come around again then perhaps you have to go for it and find a way to make it work.

I do have to say tho that I believe it is the quality we give our children as much, or more, than the quantity. AND kids are great manipulators and can make you feel like crap very easily and then go on their merry way.

Posted by: daisy at September 9, 2008 8:40 AM

Personally, It wouldn't be my choice. I am a mom of 2, ages 9 and 6. I can't imagine being away long weeks and long hours. I worked FT plus when they were babies. I was fortunate to be able to quit working when my eldest started Kindy. Its been a blessing a million times over and I am so grateful. I also consider myself to be an educated, career minded woman. There's plenty of time in my life for that when they are grown and gone. And besides, I'll need a job then to pay for their college! He he!!!!

Posted by: hibyscus at September 9, 2008 8:53 AM

I have written about this same topic twice on my blog -- but somehow you managed to say it much more eloquently and concisely than I ever good. Thanks!

Posted by: Jamie at September 9, 2008 9:24 AM

As a working mom, I can't imagine taking on the job of VP with 5 children (one special needs and several very yong) and 1 grandchild on the way. I'm a full-time trial attorney which encompasses huge responsibility, time at work and stress, but I think I've found a balance that fits me and my family.

Only you know what you can handle. I think it sets a good example for children to see their parent(s) working hard to earn a living. When I start missing Bear because I'm working, I think about all the opportunities he's going to have, that I didn't, because of the money I'm bringing in. Good luck with your decision -- as usual, no parenting decisions are easy ones!

Posted by: Robyn at September 9, 2008 9:26 AM

I logged on to Google Reader and saw the headline of your post and thought oh no, here we go again. Nothing like politics to get readers fired up.

You situation with Owen could be completely different than Palin. Take for instance my wife's family. Her dad had a heart attack at 38 and was on disability after that and couldnt work a regular 9-5 job. After the heartattack her parents had 1 more child and my father-in-law stayed home and my mother-in-law went into the workforce. Since this was the case, she preferred my FIL to my MIL for comfort.

I also agree with Daisy, if the family is all for Palin going after this position, then go for it. I highly doubt she accepted without discussing it with her entire family. Keep in mind that Palin has publicly said she only needs 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night, that leaves 20 to 21 hours for work, family and whatever else.

Finally, you telling me if you were in the field of politics and had the chance to be VP of this country, you wouldn't find a way to make it all work?? or better yet Beth had that chance???

As for your situation, I can't comment. My son is only 2 and been in daycare since he was 4 months old so our morning routine is "daddy go to work, mommy go to work, Dylan go to work"

Posted by: Darren at September 9, 2008 9:32 AM

As a single mom, I've passed over job offers that would require me relocating or working longer hours than I already do. It's just not worth it. My kids need me more.

However, there is maybe a little more flexibility in a two-parent household.

That said, it's still a hard decision. I've seen what moving around a lot and chasing the almighty dollar has done to my brother's kids - who have changed schools more times in their short lives than I have moved during my entire existence.

I like what the person had to say about weighing future options - and, if those options will be there some years down the road, pursuing the promotions then.

But ultimately, it's a choice you all have to make based on what's best for your family.

Posted by: Traci at September 9, 2008 9:38 AM

I was a working mom and just quit a few months back since we relocated and I wanted to make sure my 3 year old settles in the new location/pre-school etc; I had a big opportunity of a comfy job where I was relocationg that I passed up. Every day I think about it wistfully, but know I made the right decision. I hope to start employment some time 2009, but this gap is a big career sacrifice I made for the second time since my son's birth.
As for my husband, he took up several promotions that do keep him from spending more quality time with his family, but this again is a sacrifice he has taken for the benefit of the family itself. No regrets there either, in fact he is gearing up for the next big promotion.
I guess we have balanced each other out with me being stay at home and he super-busy. When I get to work, we will readjust something to balance each other again....those were our decisions and they somehow feel right. I cannot say for anyone else though...

Posted by: NM at September 9, 2008 9:50 AM

I know a lot of Mothers that stay at home, and don't give their children much support. And Mothers that work and are fantastic with their children. And, of course, the opposite is true too.

This woman seems to have more energy than I've ever had. I don't think that how much time you spend with your children is nearly as important as the way you spend the time you have with them.

And I don't think a child loves the stay at home parent more because he/she stays at home. It's the person, not the hours.

But that's just my opinion. I was lucky enough to stay at home and raise my children, and I loved it. But I saw the opposite of some stay at home parents. Some are ready to tear their hair out at the end of the day.

Posted by: cassie-b at September 9, 2008 9:55 AM

Chris,

The fact that you're even asking yourself this question gives you the answers you need about your upcoming promotion. Yes, you love your family with all your heart and soul. Yes, you like working. There's a balance there that you are exploring and will come to grips with in time. I believe that you'll figure that out. Yes I do.

Posted by: k8 at September 9, 2008 10:04 AM

I get the feeling Mrs. Palin hasn't been all that involved in the rearing of her children to date, so I think the proverbial cow is already out of the barn on that one. It's just a feeling I have, but I'm not sure how she can possibly have the jobs she's had (and all that experience!) and be home nursing all those babies. Also, I've seen everyone hold that youngest child - including Cindy McCain - EXCEPT it's mother.

As for you, my friend, I think you'll know when it happens. Kids go through a lot of transitions. I commend you for your devotion - not all dads are like that. But you may find that when the promotion comes through, Mia's in a different place and you'll feel comfortable doing it. Too early to call that one.

Posted by: Candy at September 9, 2008 10:13 AM

I do not have kids but I wanted to make a comment. I think it is terrific when a woman takes care of her children and has a great career, but my real question is ....and always is where is the father in all this? I mean rude cactus is a fabulous father, but why do we always harp on any woman who is pro career? I think it is great if you want to give your kids the best of everything including your time. I have seen a lot of well-adjusted, intelligent children (and happy) in homes that have 2 working parents. Giving families a choice and being supportive of that is a perspective that maybe honestly we have to explore. Last time I checked it takes 2 to make a family really work. If you’re a single parent then I think our communities should support all families, but especially support single parent families. Children are our future! (Sorry about the Whitney Houston reference) I am really ticked off when I see any woman who is attacked for her choices in her career if she is seen as "abandoning" her family....no one ever asks a man that question. SERIOUSLY. I am not a fan of Palin at all but I am tired of women getting the short end of the stick on support. I know I am maybe a minority ...but I think if you want a career man or woman ...kids or no kids it is your choice and really this is America and we should support everyone's choice. Ok now I am off my soap box :)

Posted by: Julie Andel at September 9, 2008 10:35 AM

As far as Palin, I think it's a choice she's making, and a poor one at that. IMO, when she chose to have children, she chose to be responsible and do what is best for them until they are adults. Being VP isn't just a regular work outside the home job, her family is obviously going to be neglected in favor of VP duties. The question is - can women have it all? I think the answer is yes, but just not all at once. Sacrifices have to be made at certain points of your life to ensure you're making the best decisions for your family. Unfortunately, I think she's sacrificing her family.

As for you, it's sort of the same, I guess. Obviously you don't wish to sacrifice your family, yet at the same time you realize you have to do what is best to ensure your kids have the brightest future. It must suck to be the breadwinner in that way.

Posted by: Shelly at September 9, 2008 10:35 AM

My dad was asked to run for a political office once. He told them no (according to him) because he thought it would take time away from his family. My parents moved to a small town where my dad drove 5 minutes to his office, and I always remember him being around for family dinners in the evening, then card games or wiffleball or whatever afterward. My mom stayed at home until we were in junior high, and we were a really tight-knit family. I remember childhood as being easygoing, unrushed, relaxing and fun.

So I think you give that up a little when both parents work high-pressure jobs. Maybe, by climbing the career ladder, you teach your children the value of achievement, and that's a good thing, too. You would certainly have more money. Personally, I already have "enough" and only want to teach my children the wisdom of knowing where that line is, of following their hearts instead of listening to the world's insistence on more, more, more.

Posted by: Laura at September 9, 2008 10:44 AM

Well I don't want to get into the Palin thing b/c I don't think I can not be political about it.

The world we live in is tough, b/c we do have to work so many hours away from our families. But I say, as long as you work to live (and don't live to work) then you're going to do OK.

Posted by: kalisah at September 9, 2008 10:45 AM

Just so you know I did the EXACT same thing to my dad every time he left for work..I used to hold on to his hand as tightly as I could and beg him to stay home. I bet he was miserable on the way to work. He told me later in life that he worked so much so my mom didn't have to...so she could raise us and we didn't have to be in day care. He still feels so bad to this day. BUT....if given the chance he would have done it the same way...just tried harder to hit the important things...like baseball games and recitals...he missed alot of that by his choice.(overtime) so my answer to you would be go for it...I still love my dad.Just keep a balance for yourself so you don't hold guilt later in life

Posted by: becky at September 9, 2008 10:50 AM

You know I am a stay at home Mom who quit her job to be home with Lady, and now Mister, and soon Baby Baby to boot. This was always my plan. I am like the furthest thing from being a feminist, despite having been educated at an all girl's school and at a Jesuit University. To say my education was liberal could be a huge understatement.

Well, now that I think about it, maybe I am a sort of feminist. I really believe that women should be able to have it all, whatever that means to them,without question and judgment. I would be incredibly insulted if anyone ever looked down on me for my decision to stay home to raise my children and have the opportunity to watch them like hawks and have full control over every aspect of their lives until the day I send them to school. And then guess what? I'll be involved at the schools they attend, and home every day the minute they get home, I'll know their friends, I'll drive them places and I will make being a part of my childrens' lives my job. I'm not saying this is the must-do in order to be a good parent, or a good mother, but it's my plan. Nowhere in this plan is there room for being gainfully employed, and I don't care.

HOWEVER, I have two sisters in law and a sister who is my dearest friend in the world, and all three of them feel very strongly that if they did not have their careers, something would be missing. If asked to follow the path I'm choosing, they'd be miserable. Their kids are amazing, their families are happy, THEY are well balanced individuals.

Way back in my advertising days, the head of our entire department was a woman with THREE young children, two of whom were adopted newborns, and her husband was the stay at home parent. Fully stay at home, like I am. They had an amazing family, a great balance, and it really worked for them.

Just as there are so many different types of families out there, there are also so many ways to parent. I have to look at Sarah Palin as a remarkable woman in her own right. I'm not considering her for Vice Mother, I'm considering her for Vice President.

Michelle Obama works full time, Barack would be the President. They have two young girls. Are we concerned with who will be parenting those children? If we are, I haven't heard a thing about it. From where I sit, that reeks of a double standard and just one other bogus issue to distract from a good solid look at Sarah Palin's resume.

Posted by: chatty cricket at September 9, 2008 11:03 AM

Sit tight - long response from all angles here.

I work from home - best of both worlds really, I get to be with my kids, I get to have an identity other than mom. But let me tell you: It's HARD to fully be engaged with both sides of the fence - there's just not enough separation. The older my kids get, the easier it gets, and the more I find I need external validation (face it, most at home moms get very little of that - I know I never do). So, I love that I have a job...

But I know that I couldn't have a job that required extensive travel (surely, like the VP position does) and still be the kind of mom *I* want to be.

And I think Sarah Palin is drastically underestimating the amount of care and the road ahead of her with her special needs son. I know that along the way, my husband ended up losing a job because he was missing so much work with his son's special needs, and my parents are still struggling with the care of my 34 year old brother who is EXTREMELY special needs.

From seeing the amount of time, the number of appointments (doctors, therapy, specialists, whatever) involved when you have a child that requires more than the regular well-child check -- I just don't see how a parent could "do it all".

And sure, it's great if she has a spouse willing to take it on - but just like I get bent if I'm the one carrying the weight of all the stuff and when my husband doesn't know my kids' shoe sizes, I dont' think it should all be on one parent. I think BOTH parents need to be involved.

I think it's great that a woman is getting this opportunity. I think the CHOICE of WHICH woman was less than stellar.

As for your situation - I think you seem to have a good balance - from your blog posts anyway. I do think it's good for kids to see a parent go to work, and to experience separation, and also to see, "Hey, there goes dad... but he'll be home later." You seem to be a pretty hands-on dad when you're home with your kids, which is what truly matters.

it's not a matter of just work vs home, but how you use your time when you're home that matters.

Alrighty. I'll shut up now.

Posted by: Sarah at September 9, 2008 11:11 AM

Our post today starts with the same exact intro- "this is not a political blog..."

Oh boy- I'm preparing for the firing squad but honestly? Judging Palin's choices as a mother and her family's choice for her to accept the VP nom is not something I'm comfortable or willing to do. We've got enough of the mommy wars going on. Yes, her 17 yr old daughter is pregnant which is not a fate I wish upon my own daughters at 17 but, again, I'm not going to condemn Palin as a bad mother for this. Who are we to decide that? Why is her 17 yr old daughter's choice to have sex an instant condemnation of her mother? She's not the first 17 yr old to get pregnant nor will be she the last.

Instead I think we should all be focusing on the other issues with Palin. There are SO MANY other reasons to be sick with worry that this woman may be our VP. Please, I hope we never have to see that happen. Palin has a world of problems, all directly tied to her (in)ability to be VP and her political choices made and her views on the world around her. Let's focus on those issues and leave the mommy judging out of it.

Posted by: Chris at September 9, 2008 11:12 AM

I can't say for sure whether Sarah Palin's decision to run for VP is a good one, not without knowing the behind-the-scenes details of her family. How much did she talk with her family (the ones old enough to offer an opinion that is; I'm pretty sure Trig didn't have a lot to say) before accepting the nomination? How much of the day to day caregiving is already done by Mr. Palin? Those are valid points, and the kind of questions that don't get asked when a man runs for VP- we just assume that the prospective Second Lady has the homefront covered.

As for your situation, it sounds to me as though you are happy with the position you are in currently, and that you don't need the promotion for either finanical or professional fulfillment reasons. If the promotion would bring you something that is missing, though, and the opportunity to pursue it won't come up again in the future, you and Beth may conclude that taking the new job is a better option. In either case, I know that you and Beth can come to a decision that will turn out to be right.

Posted by: MamaKaren at September 9, 2008 11:24 AM

The upcoming job prospect for you is a tough decision, I think though that you've already made your choice when you stated that you choose your family hands down! But I understand the dilemna. You enjoy work, obviously the money is appreciated but at what cost do you advance in you career?? Right now, in my opinion, choose your family. Your kids are this age only once, as cliched as that may sound, and they need you too! Perhaps another opportunity may come along down the road when they're older?

Posted by: Gabriella at September 9, 2008 11:27 AM

I chose family first. I had a great job making the most I’d ever made. I finally got to use my degree and people really respected me and most of all I was really good at what I did. When my Husband (then fiancé) told me that if I wanted to stay home to take care of my son he would fully support me. I didn’t have to think long, my son won out. I think it was the best decision I’ve ever, EVER made in my life. I can’t get back these years once they’re gone. I know that I’m lucky to not have to work, and I know there are those who want to work and don’t want to be stay at home moms. Okay that part baffles me, why have children if you don’t want to raise them? I know there are those who don't have a choice and would give their arm to be in my shoes.

I think Palin is putting her job first. I mean seriously making a speech two days after her youngest daughter was born, back after 4 days after Trig was born. The babies needed that bonding time with their mother and she cheated them out of it. I don’t know but when I read that she returned so quickly it made me wonder if she thinks all women should do this, to get rid of maternity leave for both the mother and father. Also if she’d been around more maybe her daughter wouldn’t be pregnant at 17.

I totally think that her core values which include her parenting should be an issue. Those core values are what drive us to do and live the way we do.

Posted by: Michele at September 9, 2008 12:01 PM

I don't really care about Palin. I think one day - she is going to look back and realize she's lost a lot of years and a lot of time with her kids that she'll never get back. Maybe that won't bother her the way it bothers so many people I know. Maybe it will eat her alive.

What should you do? You balance the very best you can.

This morning, my 5 year old (only 10 more days of having the ability to say that, sniff, sniff - my baby is going to be 6) said "I wish you could stay home and play with me, Mama."

And you know what? So do I. I like my job. I like what I do. I would much prefer being a stay-at-home-mama. I wish it were an option for me.

Posted by: Mindy at September 9, 2008 12:08 PM

If she can handle it, she can handle it. Same answer for moms who have a dozen kids. Some are built for it, some aren't. If she thinks she can do it, good for her. If it all goes to hell, we'll read about it in her children's memoirs in a few more years.

What the heck happened at school, Chris?

Posted by: oakley at September 9, 2008 12:15 PM

Personally, I think Palin is out of her mind to run for Veep as the mother of a 5 month old, period. I have bypassed many out of town conferences since The Boy was born and I have not regretted it. I also took a sidestep in my career for better hours. Still haven't regretted that. I work 40+ hours but I am home for the nights and weekends. You and Beth are lucky lucky lucky that she can stay home. Most of us working moms are not so fortunate and I *hate* Palin for putting the bar so high for working moms. If the prsonal is political, as she is so aptly making it, then I want to be able to bring my baby to work and nurse him during conference calls too. If I had tried that, I'd have lost my job. As it is, most moms get in touble for pumping breaks at work or sick days home with the baby. Palin is NOT the example we want.

HOWEVER, I also believe that if you are working, you owe it to yourself and your family to do the best you can at your job. If the prep required for a promotion is temporary and the work you would assume in the new position still allows you to go to work and come home at fairly reasonable hours, I say go for it. Bottom line is that you work 40+ hours and you might as well get the most bang for your buck at it.

Me? I joke that my sidestep move was "career suicide." But I go home happier and, heck, I'm only 36. Plenty of time left for that career later.

Posted by: rebecca at September 9, 2008 12:16 PM

I have no kids, so I may not be qualified, BUT...

Ambition needs to be placed neatly on the back burner where the kids are concerned. She's not doing that. Juggling a job and a family is hard, but her potential position requires more than any regular job.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at September 9, 2008 12:44 PM

Without knowing exactly how much the new gig would demand of your time, it's hard to do the calculus. (also I hate math)
But just reading between the lines of your own description of the promotion, it doesn't sound like you really feel like it's worth the sacrifices you'd have to make with your family.
What if you passed for now, and revisited the issue in a few years? I'm guessing you'll have another bite at the promotion apple, something you won't have with the baby Mia/Owen years.

Posted by: vaguely urban at September 9, 2008 12:58 PM

I am pro-all different kinds of choice. I think the beauty of our country and of just being a human being in general is that we have choices. Sometimes they don't seem all that easy or fair, but the choice is still there and it's still ours to make. That said I don't think anyone can tell Palin what is the best thing for her to do. I think she is the only person who knows what is best for her.

As for you, my dear Chris, you seem like a man after my own heart. A man that would rather eat not dogs with his family on a Friday night than spend all night Friday at the office and come home to, um, something fancy that vegetarians eat. The choice is ultimately yours but the babies will only be small for so long. Pretty soon Mia will be waiting for you to leave so she can sneak and put on that outfit you hate. just sayin.

Posted by: mymilabean at September 9, 2008 1:10 PM

Man, this whole Palin thing gets me going in all directions. Yes, her kids need her and I can't imagine how she will have the time to devote to them as VP of the USA. But, at the same time, think of the example she would set for her daughters, showing them they really can do anything they set their minds to.

As for your situation, well, there are some decisions that have to be made for you. Some people would argue that your kids are only little once. I would argue it the other way, that the toddler days won't last forever and if this promotion is something you want for yourself, then you should take it. Because part of being a good parent is taking care of yourself. If this is an opportunity that will not come up again (and it's something you have worked for and want), then I think you should take it. Though a thorough discussion about what all it entails with Beth would be good, but I know you already know that. :) Good luck! And congrats on being recognized for all your hard work!

Posted by: Erin at September 9, 2008 1:16 PM

I do not think its any of our business what goes on in her personal life. Women make decisions about staying at home or working outside the home all the time. Is it child abuse? NO! Palin can make this decision for herself and it should not be a concern of yours or mine. Also, so what she has a daughter who is 17 and is pregnant. Children from "good" families get into trouble all the damn time. Can you blame her parenting, can you blame her father for not telling her about the birds and the bees, her school? No...kids are kids and you do your best and sometimes it works out and sometimes there are bumps.

You should do what is best for your family. My kids do not want me to go to work either, but dang....they do not understand the whole work to eat thing.

Posted by: linda at September 9, 2008 2:39 PM

No one can know what happens in a family unless they are part of that family, and no one should assume to know the quality of the parenting that is done behind the scenes. Sarah Palin's decision is hers and her family's to make, the same as anyone else. The she is a mother to young children does not affect my opinion of her ability to govern.

Posted by: GreenCanary at September 9, 2008 3:08 PM

You've got to do what's right for you, and not put your values on anyone else. Just because you feel guilty for going to work instead of being at home playing with Mia and Owen doesn't mean Palin feels the same way.

If this promotion is important to you, then you need to evaluate its importance against what it will cost you (presumably more of your time, which means less time with your family) and decide whether or not the cost is too high. I can't tell you what to do; this is your decision to make.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at September 9, 2008 3:42 PM

awesome about talk of a biggie promotion. my husband climbed the corporate ladder pretty quickly too considering his age and he is the quintessential family man so i truly believe that success can interfere with home life only if you let it. some nites he's late coming home, but once he's home, he's home. ya know?? meanwhile....well done on movin' on up Weezie ;)

Posted by: madmom at September 9, 2008 4:27 PM

OK, my one word about Palin is selfish. Especially with the special needs kid. I don't care that my mom was an equal rights major feminist who believed parenting was an equal role, yeah, sometimes a kid just wants his mom - probably the whole fetal womb thing.

On your situation, do what feels best for you and your family. Your gut will tell you.

Posted by: Heather at September 9, 2008 5:13 PM

I am a die-hard republican and Christian and you and I have VERY different views,(but you are just so damn funny) but I'm still on the fence with Palin. There are so many questions I have, and family is one of them. I don't think I agree with how they paraded that little baby around like he was some kind of trophy saying, "Look at what I did because I am a good Christian". I think she could have gotten the point across by just her actions. But that is not the point.

As far as you and your job. I am all for success and working hard and being rewarded for said hard work and talent. I am also of the belief that money isn't everything and Owen and Mia will only be this moldable and teachable (and really only will want to be with you non-stop for a few more years) for a very little while. Is making that much more money really worth the trade offs?

For example, if this promotion would allow you to pay in cash for the finest colleges but sacrafice time with your kids, which is going to have the greater reward? While I believe that higher education is very important, I believe that having a relationship with your children is even more important. What good does a college degree do for a person if they are having issues later in life because of unfostered family relationships.

You (and Beth) strike me as the type of parents who would rather have a happy, well-adjusted, and close family than one that has all the fun material objects but misses quality time with daddy.

Posted by: Nessa at September 9, 2008 5:36 PM

There is nothing more sexy then a man with his priorities strait.

You and my Stewart seem to be on the same level.

Posted by: Sleepynita at September 9, 2008 6:21 PM

The glass ceiling will be broken one day - with or without Sarah Palin. And your job or your new job will be done with or without you.

What's important is that you take care of what's important to you, and if the job you have now is enough to care for all you guys and gives you the flexibility to be the dad and husband you want to be then you have your answer.

Good luck, either way!

Posted by: Mandy Lou at September 9, 2008 7:06 PM

I am trying not to watch the whole Palin debacle. So, I assume that she'll have help from her husband and probably a nanny or two. Doesn't sound like he has much of a career so he can be the primary care giver in the relationship. It's do-able. It's just not traditional. (Who knows what the set up is now with her being governor, right?) So it's not like she's going from being a manager a Wendy's to VP. However... it's not the choice i would have made. But it's a choice many men of have. And she is trying very hard to be a guy.

As for you... well, you'll do what's right for you.

Posted by: Nat at September 9, 2008 9:03 PM

Honestly, I think that parents leaving their children prepares them for the real world. They learn that their parents have responsibilities, and working to support their family is one of them. It also shows the child that their parents won't "leave" them, because they continue to come home daily, and that routine helps the child not be afraid of the parent leaving. I also agree that daycare and preschool is good for children because it teaches them socialization and prepares them for school. I'm also a firm believer in the public school system.

Posted by: coolchick at September 9, 2008 9:15 PM

Every family is different, and I can only hope that Palin has taken the time to consider the effect on her family rather than just jumping at this chance to advance in the world.

Posted by: Dawn at September 9, 2008 10:37 PM

I've already done two posts on Governor Palin. I feel I said everything that I can say on the matter without my head exploding.

What I love about your parenting is that your a hands on and straight forward dad. It's all out there for us all to watch and read. It's easy to see how much your family means to you.

That all being said, your the bread winner. Who knows Miabean might be brilliant and might want to be a doctor and has the brains to do so. Saving tons of money and taking those promotions would really come in handy.

On a personal note, hubby accepted a VP job recently. He had a short ride of freedom. A departmental budget, boss/making his own decisions and working on a department full of problems that he inherited with the promotion. A quick reorganization shortly thereafter and he still has the title and $, but is back to where he started responsibility wise. The hubby works longer hours and works part of every weekend. We know that we mean the world to him, but work sometimes messes up our plans and comes first occasionally.

Jury is still out in our household whether his promotion was a good thing or a mixed bag.


Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at September 10, 2008 12:42 AM

I don't care for Palin, so I'm not going to compare you to her.

As for your personal choices, I think it's safe to say that your kids will always miss you, regardless of whether you're gone 8 hours a day or 10.

Posted by: Brad at September 10, 2008 10:40 AM

I try not to judge and believe that it's a personal/family decision. However, if I were in her shoes I don't think I'd run for VP right now. I'd feel my children need me right now more than the government does. I'd also be uncomfortable subjecting my pregnant teenage daughter to so much media scrutiny. But again, that's just me.


Posted by: Kimberly at September 10, 2008 1:55 PM

I've done a couple of posts on her (nice title, BTW!) and it's an understatement to say that I'm not a fan of her politics. As for Palin's decision to run given her family situation...whatever. If she believes that she can juggle a baby with special needs and a pregnant teenage daughter while being trained on-the-job to possibly assume the most powerful position on earth, good for her. Personally, I think she made a devil's bargain, and I'll second the thought that if that it was Zoe, the absolute last thing I'd ever do to my daughter, if I were running and she was 17 and pregnant, was subject her to being put under that kind of global microscope. Yes, Barack has two young kids, but they're not going to be the butt of Internet and late night talk show jokes, or the centerpiece in a national discussion on birth control, abortion, morals, and hypocrisy. So to me this does bring up legitimate questions about her fitness as a mother. Knowing that your child WILL become a major talking point of the campaign, do you put your ambitions over your child's (who's now become the poster child for why abstinence-only sex ed programs are a simplistic idea) well-being? If Bob Woodward and other sources are to be believed, a major factor in Colin Powell's decision not to run for President was his wife's battle with depression. He did not want to subject her to the rigors and scrutiny of a campaign. Which to me shows considerably more moral courage than Palin has exhibited thus far.

Posted by: Jason at September 10, 2008 8:34 PM

I've heard the comment from more than one very liberal dude that kids always want their moms more.

Oddly, it's *always* from dads whose wives are s-a-h-m's.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: alektra at September 11, 2008 4:16 PM

Great, even-handed post. While I am very much anti-Palin, as far as her policies and experience, the motherhood questions have been the ones I refused to touch. Sure, he daughter's pregnancy and MORESO her son's special needs (which seems to be brushed under the carpet for some reason) give me pause, but as you said - that's her choice and not mine.

As for you, I am not sure I could give you the answer either. I can only tell you that I got to a place and looked around and said "is this all there is?" and had to have some readjustments to remember who was more important, their names being Bryan, Declan - AND AIMEE. I am just glad you are taking a pause to make sure it's what you want too. Either way, I know you guys will do what's right for you.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at September 11, 2008 4:24 PM


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