The Family is a Higher Calling

So.  I have been accused of being a bad feminist. I’ve been accused of being stereotypically biased against women.

I think I’ve failed to be clear enough.  My problem with Sarah Palin is that she is a full time working mother who has a full time working husband- and they’ve both been clear that neither career will be postponed.  My irritation with Sarah Palin does not have to extend to Obama, because Michelle has made it clear that she will be a mother first, and everything else can wait.  She doesn’t go out on the campaign trail full time.  Eighty percent of the time the kids sleep in their own beds, and wake up to mommy having breakfast waiting for them.  If this were the situation that Sarah Palin’s family would be experiencing- only with daddy putting out breakfast, I would shrug and say that I hope that he knows how to change a diaper and is going to help his daughter transition into motherhood.  My dad was a stay-at-home dad for part of my childhood- I think that either parent can fit that bill.

The point is that if you choose to have a family, you are choosing for one or both parents to put their own careers on hold in order to raise said family.  Children need a consistent parental figure for the first three years of their lives- the most important three years of their lives.  Teenagers need a parent who knows where they are, what they are doing, and with whom.  They need accountability and a firm hand.  (Note, however, that even really great parents can raise kids that do stupid things, as stupid things are a part of finding individuality that every child has to do- some things more stupid than others.)

I have a problem with any parent that will take a child onto the national stage and then desert them.  I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman.  If Sarah wants to pursue her career and her husband puts his on hold, kudos to them.  If Michelle puts hers on hold for Barack’s sake, kudos to her.  The question simply becomes, “if one of you has a calling to the national stage- who is called to the family?”

Because, honestly, the family is a higher calling.  There is no better thing that someone can do than to raise well-adjusted kids who can take care of themselves and raise good kids in turn.  Our country depends on generations of well-adjusted kids far more than anything else.  Nationalized health care won’t do anyone any good if most of the population are sociopaths.

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11 thoughts on “The Family is a Higher Calling

  1. “Eighty percent of the time the kids sleep in their own beds, and wake up to mommy having breakfast waiting for them.”

    So the core of your “argurment” is the percentage of days and that instead of mommy being there for breakfast it is the nanny?

    Now let me jump back to your side of the table. It is my personal conviction that when a couple (yes in an ideal world it would be a husband and wife) choose to have a baby they SACRIFICE the next 18 – 20 years of their life to make the BEST decisions for that baby.

    That would be in an ideal world.

    Lindsey, my “rub” with you on your previous post is that you were calling Governor Palin’s judgement into question… on a personal level. How did you feel about William Jefferson Clinton making “personal decisions” WHILE IN THE OVAL OFFICE? Do you think that effected his job? How about Senator Obama’s choice of radical friends? Does that effect his judgement on how he will carry out his duties as President?

    Let’s just try to be honest and consistant. 😉

  2. talesofmythirties: thanks

    mssc54: Oh, how little you know me sometimes! No, my point is that the Obamas have admitted the cost that his campaign and Presidency COULD have on their family, and are actively working to counter that affect by Michelle still being an active part of the children’s lives and giving them as stable an environment as possible.

    It’s too early in the game to truly know what kinds of decisions Palin has been making, it just rubs me the wrong way.

    Now, Mister, when I said that I didn’t particularly care about Edward’s indiscretions, YOU were the one telling ME that what we are in private we always are, and that if someone personally shows such callousness and bad judgment they can’t be trusted as a politician. Are you honestly saying something other than that now? And as for Clinton- I was ten when campaigned for office. I don’t remember his indiscretions with any particular clarity, but AT THE TIME I was AVIDLY Republican- I was DISGUSTED and had a hard time rationalizing how anyone could look at the stresses he put his daughter and wife through and still think he was a decent person.

    A lot has happened in my life since then. The greatest of which is that I’ve been failed by a lot of people I’ve idolized and I’ve come to realize that even the best people sometimes do really, really stupid things.

    Perhaps Sarah Palin is a brilliant and capable woman who is simply shortsighted in a few small areas of her life. Perhaps I’ve misjudged her completely. But notice I’m not saying, “this is what EVERYONE MUST THINK-” I’m simply stating my own perceptions.

    I’m not a talking head or a shill for the democratic party. Don’t treat me like one.

  3. While I definitely believe that people should do what is best for their children, I don’t always think that is putting children ‘first’. We’ve come a long way from the days when children were seen and not heard. We went overboard by putting our children on a self-esteem pedestal. (And now they feel rampantly entitled as adults.)

    I firmly believe that the core of a family is the relationship between the parents. If that doesn’t come first, then you’ll end up not really having a family – just two adults who tolerate each other for the sake of the children. Meanwhile, if both parents have a loving, strong relationship then the kids can relax. They know that there is something they can always count on, their parents. And this love is inclusive, so the kids are sheltered under the umbrella of this love.

    Anyway, I am glad to know that some of the candidates take their family seriously.

    But, mssc54, you know I respect how you feel about parenting. But I can’t tell you how tired I am of people throwing Bill Clinton up everytime a Republican is less than stellar. What is that? A straw man? A red herring? Whatever it is, Bill Clinton has nothing to do with Sarah Palin. Just as he has nothing to do with John Edwards.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, I guess is what I am saying.

  4. Hayden: I agree with you, and I disagree with you. I do think that having a loving, stable parental relationship is the most important thing one can do. But I also think that only goes so far. My mom went back to medical school when I was three, and my father took over a lot of the parental duties. He was there to cook dinner, to talk about our days, to talk to our friend’s parents and keep tabs on us… I know of other families in a similar situation (mom going back to school) where the dad worked full time- and everything fell apart. The simple truth is that parents need to be connected to their kids- part of being loving is being a constant object in your child’s day. Being physically there. Taking care of them. This doesn’t have to mean cooking the meals and folding the laundry, but it does have something to do with that solid physical presence. Knowing if you fall down and scrape your knee, there’s someone in the house who will comfort you. Knowing if someone at school calls you names, there will be someone at home to talk through it with.
    There are some parents who simply aren’t a part of their kids lives. It doesn’t mean that the reverse is necessary- that the presence of children ought to push EVERYTHING out of a parent’s life, but it does mean that the needs of the child, their need for a consistent caregiver, needs to be factored into every decision that is made by the family.

  5. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that if McCain and Palin are elected, that her husband (Todd?) would stay home with the kids.

    I know in Barack Obama’s case, they also have Michelle’s mom around to help take care of the kids. I don’t know if Sarah’s parents or her husband’s parents are around; I haven’t heard much about the family. (Except 18-year-old son going to war, 17-year-old daughter pregnant and tiny 4-month-old son has special needs, which would indicate that this may not be the best year for another huge upheaval in their lives.)

  6. Lindsey, I’m not entirely sure why you thought that what I meant is that both parents have to be around all the time. That isn’t what I meant at all.

    I just meant that the relationship should be loving and stable.

  7. Hayden: I didn’t think you meant that- I was more explaining my own views, in that I hadn’t meant to infer that the kids had to be the center of the parent’s world- just that they need to be a PART of it.

  8. ROFL Okay now this has turned into a “Clarification” blog. Too funny.

    So in that vane… The Bill Clinton straw man thingy. When I use that example it is because I believe that the other party is trying to hold someone else to a higher standard than they may have held “Slick Willy”.

    Honestly, I think that regardless of age a child needs to know that they can go to their parent(s) about anything at any time.

    Regarding the “Trooper-gate” story. I hear that it is firmly documented that the ex-brother in law/husband told his soon to be ex-wife that if she retained an attorney for their divorce then he would kill her father. Ummmm that would be the father of the Governor of Alaska too. Seems like good reason to take away a guys gun and badge.

  9. Gee Lindsey, did you ever think there would be a day when blogging on homosexuality would be a cakewalk? Seriously though, I appreciated this post entry and though I’m not a parent I’ve worked in Children’s Ministry for more than 20 years and have developed some of the same convictions based on my observations. Tonight’s Palin’s speech should be an interesting one.

  10. Hey Lindsey: We were fortunate that my partner was able to be home with our daughter for the first four years of her life; it was not our choice, but job reductions forced us to re-evaluate what we needed to do parent wise and financially. It was one of the best things for her that we have ever done so far. Both of my parents worked to raise five of us growing up, however, we always had their time at meals, which was important family time, vacations and weekends. My parents really tried to be there for us, and I don’t feel any loss because of it. Sure, how we are as a team in terms of parenting is critical, but we see the difference in our daughter’s life by giving her time when she needs it from us. Board games or sitting with her til she falls asleep; it all matters…..

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