Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Was She Thinking?

Here's what I know for sure about Sarah Palin -- she is very ambitious. With a special needs baby and an unwed pregnant daughter for starters, she could have said no to McCain.

One person's ambition can be costly to a family. Everyone's needs go on hold in the service of meeting those goals.

It seems like Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin. Most of the time when you've got kids, the first thing you give up is a big piece of yourself in support of your children's emotional growth. But it seems like she has asked her kids to support her success instead.

I'm not saying she's cruel or thoughtless. Just that Moms are so key to children that when she can't be there, something's bound to give.

As much as people try to separate her teenage daughter's pregnancy from any failing on Ms. Palin's part, a family is a single entity with many parts, all of which depend on the others. Absent care and attention, a wheel has to squeak to get greased.

Anyone who has tried to have a career while raising children knows the toll it takes on our relationships with them. There just isn't enough time to give each one all the intimate Mom Moments they need. It's a fallacy to think that kids only need quality time; they need face time more -- the ability to look up whenever they want and just see that you're there.

The more children you have the more you need to be around, although older daughters can nurture the younger ones and older boys can help with fathering if there's no father in the picture.

But it's one thing to have a nine to five job that gets you home for dinner. It's another thing to be a governor and not be home with regularity. Kids thrive on consistency. Mom is the emotional heart of a family. If she's a public servant her kids' needs get postponed, delayed, and deferred in the performance of her duties.

The children who get the short end of the stick in this scenario are the older ones, who are thrown into the role and responsibilities of parenting when they still need parenting themselves.

What I find most interesting about Bristol Palin is that it seems like she got pregnant around the same time her little brother was born. He's five months old. She's five months pregnant. I'm sure getting pregnant wasn't a conscious decision, but the coincidence and the reason for it make for a good ponder.

Mom has spent a lot of time in the spotlight. It's not her fault, but the demands of her job mean she doesn't have much time to appreciate what her children are doing to shine for her. The Look At Me Mom factor is an important part of any kid's llife.

Given the family's strict abstinence-only stance on birth control and pro-life position on abortion, what better way is there for a normally obedient young girl to say "I'm not your babysitter anymore" than to do something permanent and irreversible.

All for want of time with her mom. And time to be a kid. Time so she could ask the dumb questions that come up when you're just driving in the car or siting around after dinner. Time to not be responsible for anyone but herself. Time to finally get to her questions about boys. How to keep them coming around. How to keep them from misbehaving.

I'll be curious to see if Bristol really does marry Lecherous Levi or not. He seems like a brainless hunk. No matter what we're being told, I wonder if she will go along with the spin meisters and set a date for her wedding. Then, when things cool down, dump him. 

Bristol may have to tell her mom that she has ambitions of her own.


psychfun said...

Oh that is a pretty big jump for me.

First, are you saying then no woman can be a CEO of a company & have young ones or teens for that matter. If what you are saying is true, no woman can have a fairly demanding job until all her kids are what?? In college? I don't agree.

Next, you are saying it is just due to her mom being Gov? Ok, wait do we have any other moms that are gov with teen daughters? Did they all get pregnant. That is not it. And then you have to say oh well then stay at home moms do not have teen pregnant dauthers? So it is not just the time they spend or not. It is what goese on during that time. Quantity the research shows is not it, it is quality.

Next, we have no idea the girl may have used birth control. I know but did you tell everything to your mom? You can still get pregant if you forget or it is 99.9 but still it happens.

This is all a lot of assuming her or just a tad more than "I wonder" and quite frankly if it was a Democrat whose daughter became pregnant would we make the same slams on the woman running? I hope she does not feel pressured now to marry him if it is not the right decision. That would be even worse. I just hope she doesn't care about everyone talking & what it will mean for her mom & just does what is right for her & her baby.

jevanslink said...

I never said you can't be a CEO and have kids.  I said there is a price to pay.  

Mrs. L

jevanslink said...

I would bet you have never had children.  I've lived this scenario.

Mrs. L

emmapeeldallas said...

Excellent post, and I couldn't agree more.  If she knew about the pregnancy, Sarah Palin threw her daughter under the bus when she accepted the nomination.


sgeorge952 said...

I think the marriage bit bothers me the most.  I can't imagine in this day and time encouraging a seventeen year old girl who is still in high school to get married.  I can't imagine being the pregnant daughter of such a conservative mother, I wonder what choices she thinks she has.

sdoscher458 said...

I have to agree with you. I was a single parent of two, had to work to keep a roof over their heads, and I worked long hours. We did pay a price, I lost time with them that I could never get back...time moves too quickly. They did not do as well as they could of in school, and I felt like a failure...oh, thank God they turned out well, no drugs no trouble with the law.  I can't imagine Palin doing everything she has and not cutting her family would just have to be that way. What bothers me is that right after having the last baby, three days later back in her executive office....I don't look up to her for that, I think she's nuts and it was a bit of "look at me" overkill.  My own daughter has four steppin stone daughters, believe me her life is not her own, very hectic, has to be super organized to work and she travels into NYC every day to work, relatives do help too...but the kids have to have face time with Mom & Dad it is so well, Sandi

screaminremo303 said...

I think everyone grossly underestimates the quality of the family's character.

After all, it's not like they're Democrats or anything.

thisismary said...

While your opinion as to the Palin family dynamics may very well be correct, what you and everyone else blogging about "the unwed pregnant daughter" are doing is:

You (and they) are publicly crucifying a seventeen year old pregnant girl who had no choice as to whether or not she was in the spotlight.

Mrs. L., you are better than that.

jevanslink said...

Mary --
I am making no apologies for what I have written. When a public servant espouses a conservative family viewpoint they want to ram down our throats if they become a leader of this country, I refuse to sit on my hands when hypocrisy rears its unpleasant head. That's when all bets are off. As I said somewhere else, too bad we didn't know about Cheney's gay daughter when he was running for office the first time.

Funny how its okay to talk about Palin's Down Syndrome baby, clearly a defenseless minor, but we are not supposed to discuss the fact that her daughter is pregnant. Can't have it both ways. The candidates want to cherry pick what we can say about their kids.

During her mother's speech last night, Trig was glorified and Bristol was so obviously ignored that she became the elephant in the room.

I haven't judged Bristol, but I have questioned what went into her decision making. I have judged how her mother may have played a role in what happened. I have also judged Levi, but I consider him fair game regardless.  

I was judged constantly FOR YEARS as a single parent raising my daughters from when they were small children. And I never ran for office. However, despite having to work long hours, I also worked hard to protect my kids from making decisions that would negatively affect their futures. And, in turn, make me a pariah. Moms will always run that risk. It comes with the job.

I think Sarah Palin's hardline stance on sex and its consequences ultimately let her daughter down. If Bristol weren't a minor, she could own the decision that led to her pregnancy. But since she is underage, that decision is inextxricably entwined with the parenting she received.    

Mrs. L

suzypwr said...

If Palin goes to the White House, I would say the marriage will last maybe 4 years. He will go too, won't he?