Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mothering Jobs Open

(Photo of me and my last son Jeff twenty-five years ago.) With the addition of the latest candidate in the political scene Sarah Palin, guess I'll put in my two bits. There was an article in today's newspaper lamenting the lack of female applicants for the University of Utah's medical school.

It said...Males are in the majority at med school. The ratio of men to women attending the University of Utah medical school is almost 2-1 and is one of the most uneven in the country...where about 49% of medical students nationwide are women. Last year only 30% of the applicants were women...part of the reason is because most of the women come from within the state of Utah where many are influenced by the LDS church to be the primary caregivers at home and are less likely to focus on a career.

I don't know about you but when I consider Sarah Palin as a possible President in case of some mishap to John McCain, I feel uneasy about it. Not that I don't feel a women can have a career, but it's difficult for her family. Maybe her husband First Dude can take her place at home but can he do it as well? I believe women are different than men. Our church teaches that also... By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

Having been a single parent and working mom, I can attest that it is possible to work and raise children but I do admire those women who, although trained and educated for a job, are able to make the choice to stay at home and nurture their children. Our society has such high expectations for us to have the highest standard of living-new home, two cars, etc. Many times that necessitates both parents working. It can be done and children can be raised by extended family or care centers, but is it worth it?

I've worked full time, part time and stayed at home when possible and can testify that there is plenty of work to fill your days in being a homemaker and mother. Not that you shouldn't get an education and job experience to fall back on, but being a parent is a 24/7 job for both parents and one of them needs to be on duty at all times with the other one hopefully providing the income to support the family. Call me old fashioned or conservative.

So back to Sarah Palin with a special needs baby and a pregnant teenager, how in the world can she sacrifice their needs for a career as VP or maybe even President of the USA? Let's hear your comments....


  1. Geraldine Ferraro made a statement saying basically Sarah Palin is a smart, educated women..why should she waste that by staying at home? I believe women have gotten the idea in their heads that being a full time stay at home mom is somehow below them. Only idiots do that I guess. I'm glad I get to stay home with my little ones...I wouldn't trade it for the world.

  2. I'll admit to being a little conflicted. I worked, leaving my boys with my mother. My husband and I were young and we realized early on that additional education was necessary for our future. He attended school full time and worked almost full time. I worked and attended school a little at a time. My sons have grown into terrific adults.

    I think children need nurturing and attention, yet I hate to say that women cannot do what they are capable of doing simply because they are mothers. Do we say that only women without children or those over 50 are eligible for public office? What about those who end up caring for ailing parents? Should they be disqualified too? That so limits the pool of needed talent.

  3. I have a son who is raising his son on his own. No wife, no grandparents nearby... Is it hard? You bet! Does his son miss out on not having a mother's tender touch tucking him at night? I don't know that he does. Dustin reads to him, says prayers with him, pulls the covers over his shoulders, and kisses him on the forehead just the way I did when my children were young. My son never misses a football game, goes to most of his son's practices, his scout activities, makes sure they sit side by side in church, makes him breakfast every morning and a great dinner every night. He's one of the best "mommies" I know.

    My point here is that we short change men when we think they can't nurture as well as women can.

    As for sacrificing the needds of her children... we don't really know what kind of sacrifice they will be making. Children of our president's and vice presidents have historically had pretty good access to their parents. BUT... I can not imagine being a 17 year old girl who would have to grow up believing that SHE had been the reason that her mother turned down an opportunity to serve her country in such a way. I think her daughter is very proud of her mom, and it would be a tough thing to carry around the weight of that guilt. (Teens have the tendency to over dramatize everything that way)

    I have conflicting feelings about her choice to let the "first dude" take over some of her mothering responsibilities... but, it is her choice, and his. Not mine. My choice is who I think is the best qualified, intellectually and morally, and who's experience and record of service best matches the vision I hold for our country. So, I will look at her qualifications in exactly the same way I research McCain's, Obama's and Biden's.

  4. As much as there is nothing wrong to be a stay-at-home mom as I am, There is nothing wrong with being a career woman and being on the panel for election.

    This is 2008 going into 2009 - the family is missing nothing if Mommy is working - there is Daddy, too and it takes "Two" to make a family work.

  5. I am interested to learn about your faith Lin. I don't like Sarah Palin for her beliefs and total lack of qualifications. McCain could have picked any number of qualified Republican women. The issue of how she wants to raise her children or really doesn't want to raise them as they don't seem very high on her list of priorities just makes me dislike her all the more...I always felt my first and most important job was raising my daughter, but I did need to work after she was a year old.

  6. I am 100% with Michelle in my feelings as to Sarah Palin's qualifications so I won't repeat that part. I will say that when I went back to teaching my son was in the 2nd grade and my daughter was in 5th. My husband was very involved in their upbringing as well. And still, I remember my son saying at one point, "You love your students more than you do me." That was very painful. It wasn't all that easy for me. What will it be like for her with a Down's Syndrome baby?
    Still... that is not the fundamental reason why I would never vote for that ticket. It's more what she's been saying, the truth she's been stretching and even tearing asunder.

  7. Wow. Great topic. I've already made it pretty clear that I don't like Sarah Palin's politics or her style of leadership. I can't help feeling that she is putting her ambition ahead of her family, but she has every right to that choice.
    I have known many women who had babies, put them in day care, and went back to work. They love their children very much. My own daughter is a full time teacher, but she spends as much time as she can with her kids. She is a wonderful mom.
    We lived month to month when our kids were little, on my husband's teacher salary, and I stayed home. I went back to work when they were in school, but even then I worked as a classified staff member until they were gone from home. I felt richly blessed to be able to be a full time mom. I was still able to fulfill my need to achieve. I guess my need to be a mother was greater.
    The wonderful thing is that we are not all alike, and we can all choose the way that is best for each of us. The stats for Utah make sense. The LDS faith supports motherhood and family. Faith is one of the considerations people take into account when they make life decisions.