Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)
Sarah Palin is living my worst nightmare. Now, before I continue, let me say that I do not intend this post or any other post to be political in nature. I will not use this venue to discuss any candidate either for or against. What I am talking about here is the very public discussion of her ability to properly mother her children. In addition to the outlandish tale that she is actually the grandmother of her youngest child, there are some down to earth issues being debated. Some people believe that it will be impossible to balance her job as vice president with the needs of her children. They think she should not consider this role, but be more concerned about raising her children. Some say that if she had paid less attention to politics and more attention to her daughter, Bristol would not be pregnant. Instead of desiring to make a difference by serving in political office, Palin should remember that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” and stay home and raise her kids. It is sad that much of this rhetoric comes from other women. I have enough self criticism of my mothering abilities floating around in my own head. I don’t know about Sarah Palin, but I do not need to hear it from someone else. When I was a young mother, I carried such a tremendous load of guilt because I was a mom who worked outside my home. For a long time, I believed that I was slighting my children and that if they ever grew to be successful, it would be in spite of me not because of me. You know what? I found out that I was right, but it didn’t have anything to do with having a nine to five job. The neuroses, tendencies, reactions and beliefs built inside me practically from birth rubbed off on my kids whether they were with me twenty four hours a day or eight. Sometimes, not necessarily in a good way. What did not help was the tension between moms who stayed home and moms who didn’t. When a stay at home mom got to know my oldest son through a church project, she remarked in a surprised tone, “He’s such a nice young man.” “Yes, he is,” I thought. “He survived just fine.” The best thing that ever happened to me was realizing that if I didn’t take credit for my children’s successes, I wouldn’t need to beat myself up for their failures as well. As moms, we need to cut each other some slack. We are all doing the best that we can with what we know right now. We do enough looking back and second guessing ourselves on our own without others planting doubts in our heads. We don’t need those Monday morning quarterbacks replaying our every move. Judge Sarah Palin’s politics and experience as you will, but leave her alone to mother her children as she sees fit.