Yesterday I had read an article that asked the question, "how can a working mother can be a good mother?. I guess that this age-old topic is being brought up because of the recent Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. I don't remember looking to see who wrote it...but I would guess it was a man. But I think for any mother this is an ongoing internal battle that we all deal with or have dealt with.
After I read the title of the article I first thought, what exactly is a "good mother"? We all certainly know what a "bad mother" is. Heck we read about them in the newspapers. My personal opinion is that a good mother is one that nurtures the emotional growth and well being of a child. One that provides the ground work for raising a successful, strong, well-balanced, moral human being. But that is just my take on things.
When I was busy establishing a career and raising small children there were times that I felt that I was forsaking some of my parental responsibility for the all mighty career. And in many cases I think I did (heck, I had to return to work when my baby was 5 weeks old, not by choice but to keep our health insurance)....but was it wrong....did it make me a bad mother when I forgot to send lunch money, or I had to send public transportation to pick them up from school when I couldn't get out of the office? How about missing field trips, school programs or being late to a ball game?
My opinion is that although I certainly wasn't mother of the year (that award goes to the one and only Mrs. Cleaver), thru working I was able to provide material things and the emotional well being of knowing that there would always be a roof over our heads, decent healthcare would be provided and the fridge would always be full (for us as well as most of the neighborhood). Since I worked locally my children knew that in an emergency I was just a phone call away (that meant that when they were older we needed to clarify than an emergency is... unless there was blood, a protruding bone or the house was on fire....they were not to call me). Since I have daughters I wanted them to know that a woman can do it all, have a successful career, great marriage, nice home and juggle all of the balls at the same time. But is there a cost to be paid? Sure...everything has a cost doesn't it? Unfortunately it's just another burden we woman must bear....nobody faults a father for working...do they??
I think that all mothers certainly would love to stay home with their children, nurse their babies, have cookies ready when school is over and coach the soccer team. But to some that just isn't possible financially it also is not possible emotionally. Some, and I think I can count myself in on this one, need to stimulate their brain outside of the home. They need to have a "reason" to shower and get dressed in the morning. While others find that they can motivate themselves and stimulate their brain at home with their children (I would never be disciplined enough to do that.....too many distractions and good tv to watch).
So can Sarah Palin juggle it all? Sure she can, she has the means to hire help with her children and household. But will there be a price to pay? Sure.....there always is.....but alot of times you don't find out the price until it is too late.
Please know this is neither an endorsement for or against Sarah Palin but just an opinion by a mom who happened to work. If she gets the job...I wish her alot of luck, with 5 kids, one of which is a pregnant teenager and a baby with downs syndrom..she is going to need it.