Wednesday, September 10, 2008

That job on the right that I'm not even going to mention at all

Yeah, what Ms. Kitty said. Exactly.

I've been wondering why I'm having such a horrible reaction to the vice presidential choice on that side over there on the right. I cannot believe that conservative women think it's OK to be that gone from a little itty baby and a pregnant teen. I'm shocked, really stunned. I've worked and raised babies at the same time. It's really, really hard, and not just on the mom.

But I think my reaction goes back a ways past that. I think I might be one of the canaries in the coal mine. I was raised in day care, OK, it was my mom's inner city day care that she took over from my grandmother. Together one or the other of them ran it for 30 years--ending in 1979. But it was no being home. I wonder if my extreme commitment to one or the other of my kids' parents being home with them is about that.

Not that my mom did a bad job, she was an early-adopter feminist. And what they were given was the male model of power. Instead of social security benefits for stay at home moms, they were told to be equal they had to go out into the work force. She did a great job and made a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of low income kids. She took in blind kids and kids with cp and kids no one else took.

But I felt that my kids would be better served if one of the people who was in charge of raising them were there and in charge most of the time. And in fact, that's what happened. I went back to work when my oldest was six weeks old, but his dad took care of him, we swapped shifts. And when I worked full time swing shift with all three under 13, my amazing husband taught the kids to do dishes and laundry "engineer style" and they got to know the check out guy at the grocery store by name. Not that I think it's for everyone, but for me, there was no other way. No judgment on moms who chose a different path (well, unless running for an office you're totally unqualified for, then maybe a whole lot of judgment). But it's what was in my heart.

And now that I'm a professional religious educator with mountains of responsibilities, I still worry. But tonight the oldest made gravy and mashed potatoes to go with the roast in the crock pot. And the other night he made chicken teryaki and rice in the rice cooker, and gyoza with stir fried veggies. When I got home the rice maker was clean and put away.

I think it's OK.

But I still worry. And there is no way that anything on this planet or anywhere in any realm could make me leave my children and go do the kind of job that the person on the right who is trying for that one job is doing. Nope. My job is too important, you know, the one about rasing my sons. I'm not up for missing any big chunk of it thank you very much. I love it.

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