My dad worked for the airline industry and it can't be a big shock that that career path involved a lot of traveling. And when I say a lot of traveling I mean he spent two years living in California when we were all pretty young.
I don't remember a ton from that time but I do know once, when we were visiting him, we went to an out-door movie theater at night and while I was sitting on the ground, ants crawled into my underwear and were just like, hanging out in there. I literally had ants in my pants. When we got back to my dad's condo that night and he realized why I was jumping around like I had ants in my pants, he walked me over to the bathroom, flushed the ants down the toilet and we waved bye-bye to the ants. That image of his face as he told me to wave bye-bye to the ants from my underpants as they went in circles around the toilet bowl, is stuck in my head (like the phone number thing).
|From Hasbro...and my childhood!|
Of course neither of my parents were running for governor of Texas. Apparently, if you are a parent who's career path has taken you away from your children for any length of time, and you run for governor of Texas, you are pretty close to the worst parent alive. That's right, the latest from the political crap-storm is an indictment of working parents. It comes in the form of criticism of Texas Governor hopeful Wendy Davis who spent time away from her kids (about 19 years ago) to attend law school.
I don't care if you are a leftist commie who thinks personal wealth is as antiquated as shaving your armpits or if you're so far right even your sensible pearl necklace thinks you're uptight, attacking a political candidate for trying to achieve a personal goal - to better themselves and their community - which may have meant extra time away from their kids, is wrong.
Attacking a parent for working is wrong. Attacking a parent for choosing to stay home is wrong.
I've been a SAHM, a WAHM, and a WOOHM. I may be making that last one up, but let's just say, I've looked at the parenting cloud from both sides now and I can say, with ease, that no matter how you choose to approach career and parenting, you're going to screw those kids up. It's not a campaign you're going to win. It's more like a Sisyphean challenge designed to leave you in a puddled mess on the floor filled with self doubt and wine.
Now let's ignore for the moment how incredibly sexist this smear campaign is (which, make no mistake, it completely is as it would never have been lobbied against a male candidate) and focus on how detrimental it could be for our society. Do we really want to discourage parents from working? Or working so hard that their kids might notice they work? Or working so hard that they might miss a ballet recital or a bake sale or, god-forbid, a trophy ceremony? Louis Pasteur had five children, losing three to typhoid which spurred him on to pioneer the field of vaccinations. I imagine that work made him miss out on a few after school Lute lessons but I wouldn't call him a bad dad. Clint Eastwood has seven children, from five marriages, and has starred in so many movies Wikipedia refuses to list them all. Most of those movies made him leave town to film. Probably, his kids noticed. But if he hadn't, we never would have had "Pink Cadillac!" Connie Britton is a working mom for Christ's sake and there isn't a person in the world who doesn't love that woman!
So I would encourage the people (who's names I won't use here because I don't want to add to their political fervor) who are heading down the path of pissing off parents for deciding to work, as part of their political strategy, to shut up. If you can't find anything bad to say about a candidate other than that she pursued a career while parenting, felt guilty about it as we all do, but did it anyway, then maybe you should move on. Or, if you prefer, I could introduce you to about 460,127 parent-bloggers who work and parent and would be happy to talk at length about your misguided notions. Just be ready to read a lot of top-five lists with snappy graphics and witty sub-titles and be linked to many....MANY, Pinterest posts.
Okay...maybe just one name. Here's a photo of Bristol Palin who recently blogged about what an awesome conservative parent she is.
|Photo courtesy of Dancing with the Stars...which she worked on while parenting!|