Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Sarah Palin: Does she win the bad mom award?

The mommy bloggers are going wild over Sarah Palin's latest newsflash: her 17 YO very unmarried daughter is 5 months pregnant. Okie Dokie. You have got to be enjoying this campaign season right about now.

That I'm so not a fan of Palin is obvious. I can't stand her views on creationism (aka "Intelligent Design), abortion rights, sex education in schools, gun control, and pretty much everything else she stands for. To say we are exact opposites on every issue would be pretty much true. However, the one thing we seemed to agree on is that we're both moms. And moms should be able to support each other.

But I'm sorry, the choices that she's made as a mother disgust me. And my feeling is, if she's making such horrible choices parenting her own little brood of 5, then how can we possibly allow her to be a mother to the whole nation?

That her daughter was sexually active just proves, once again, that no matter how much you preach abstinence, no matter how much you tell kids that premarital sex is wrong, no matter how you lay down your morality on top of your kids... teenagers have minds of their own. And when they're 16, their minds are mostly on sex. Her daughter is not to blame in this. She's a teenager doing what most teenagers are doing by the age of 16. Having a sexual relationship with her boyfriend. The boyfriend that she's 'going to marry'. Can you say "hello shotgun"?

What bothers me most about this latest debacle is that her mother, Ms Against Sex Education, Ms Against Abortion, Ms Against Birth Control has literally forced this 17 year old girl into a position that is going to change her life, and probably not for the better. Being a 17 yr old mother is hard. Whether or not she marries the baby daddy, she's going to need her own parents to support her. Now how is she going to get that while Mommy is off campaigning to every state in the country?

Daddy, who quit his job to be a SAH dad is going to be very busy taking care of the 5-month old Down Syndrome baby. Never mind the other siblings. Let's face it, Dad doesn't have the time to take care of another infant. Nor should he. It's not his baby. But when Sarah is off doing her political campaigning, she's not going to be around to support him, never mind her pregnant daughter. That isn't right.

Additionally, what kind of mother leaves a 5-month old special needs baby? I'm sorry, but I cannot relate to her parenting choices at all. If you make the choice to have five kids, then you make the choice to parent those kids. If you have a job that you can fit in whilst parenting, then work all you want. But when you abandon your family for the world's longest job interview when you have a perfectly decent job, I question your motives. I wonder if the job is more important than the children you continually shoved out your vagina. Why have that many kids if you don't plan to mother them?

Oh, because you don't believe in abortion. Or birth control. Or sex education. Right....

Poor choices. I'm not for one moment advocating that Palin should have aborted her children. I'm pro-choice but anti-abortion. I think she should be allowed to make the choice to have her 5 kids just like other women should be allowed to make the choice not to have children. That's what being pro-choice is.

But when you choose to have five kids, and one is pregnant and one is special needs and one is about to ship off to Iraq, maybe you might just think that your kids need you. Need you to be there for them. To parent them. Palin made the choice to have children. Those children should come first. That is what parenting is all about.

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Blogger Daisy said...

Pro-choice but anti-abortion - you said it. Palin made her choices; she can not, NOT, make choices for other women. Women who may not have the choices and the support and the (gasp) health insurance that she does.

1/9/08 9:14 PM  
Blogger David Wornica said...

I feel bad for her daughter being thrown into the spotlight like this, but that's what happens when you're the daughter of a potential VP.

I'm with Daisy, pro-choice but anti-abortion I just hope everyone (including the unborn) is going to be alright.

Great blog btw:)

1/9/08 11:13 PM  
Blogger adymommy said...

I am not for Palin...and I find that picture you have posted disturbing in many ways. However I don't agree with everything you said. If Sarah Palin's husband was the one running for VP would anyone care that he wasn't staying at home with his pregnant teen and special needs baby? Probably not. Would they be judging his parenting abilities? Again I doubt it. In a country where we, as women, want equal rights why is it we can't treat our fellow woman with those equal rights we preach to our husbands, friends, bosses, and our children.
I don't care what kind of a parent she is, I am not a supporter of hers because of her political views.

2/9/08 9:42 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

I think any parent, male or female, that leaves a 3 day old baby to go back to work sucks. I don't care what the gender is, 3 days old is a ridiculous time to shove your baby into the arms of some caregiver. That's not responsible parenting.

2/9/08 10:55 AM  
Blogger cleomom said...

As a woman I can appreciate that people might not be so critical if this were a man but it still does not change the basic facts. Sara Palin has failed as a parent. She has put her own ambitions above the well being of her children. Yes, men have done this for years and I don't respect men when they do it either. To thrust her teenage, pregnant daughter into the spot light is unthinkable to me. I think she is TRASH. Selfish TRASH. If she had one ounce of feeling for her daughter she would have stepped aside the moment that she learned of the pregnancy. This is not the example that I want for teenage girls OR boys in this country. I am also pro choice and anti abortion and I believe strongly in adoption. There is NOTHING that is ok about this.

2/9/08 12:54 PM  
Blogger BSumner said...

Nice photoshop job on that photo... they could have at least made both her arms the same color!

2/9/08 1:50 PM  
Blogger Crazed Mom said...

The surveys said 77% of respondents thought Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy was a private matter. I agree. So don't tell me or any other woman what to do with our bodies!!!!

2/9/08 11:16 PM  
Blogger mojoma said...

Sarah Palin & John McCain have made it very clear that they were aware of the pregnancy before McCain announced Palin as his VP pick. If that is the case, I can't imagine any mother dragging her daughter over the media coals for the VP position. What kind of parent does that to their daughter! Is Palin that narcissitic? Most disturbing.

3/9/08 2:35 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Interesting topic, interesting comments about Ms. Palin’s, her daughter’s pregnancy, parenting, etc.
Parenting in the 21st century has its challenges. However, I can say, these challenges are not so different in me growing up (high school 1969-71) and then raising two daughters (respectively now ages 27 and 29), in the 20th century. My trials and tribulations were not so different. Books were limited on parenting and those that were available were not always realistic and some still not.
We learn “OTJ” ~ on the job training, we make mistakes, we sometimes use strategies our parents may have used. My parents did discuss expectations, morals, etc. related to premarital sex. However, I was told: it is sinful, you will be disowned and even that those who become pregnant out of wedlock were promiscuous, and condemned in society. This was quite true back then (I finished high school in 1971.) My parents weaknesses/shortcomings in raising six children (4 girls and 2 boys), who felt they were communicating moreso than their own parents ~ became my strengths. They were not wrong, they were parents of their time and upbringing.
Times changed greatly and 25 years later when my daughter(s) entered high school, I knew how I didn’t want to treat my children ~ to be seen and not heard or commanded. One-on-one time with each daughter was crucial. I learned that every year in a child’s life is important, but I found the high school years were the most influential and critical. It was necessary to treat my child(ren) as an individual, give her wings to fly as well as the tools and information she needed to make good decisions, albeit knowing that her choices may not be consistent with how I would write the book. I needed to be available, open minded, think (and think thoroughly) before speaking regardless of my personal beliefs and upbringing

It is important to stay several steps ahead and believe in the decisions we make as parents. It is also important to maintain a high level of respect for our child(ren). It is important to stay calm, not to be accusatory or demanding and yes, love unconditionally. We need to be available to them, we need to listen and truly find out who they are and what they are feeling. The list can go on and these are key elements in raising children. Did I say love? Lots of love, and lots of seeing the other side, understanding.
Parenting (and yes, cliché) does take a village, so how is it during the most formative years of a teens life and the gift of a special needs child can a parent take on the nation. Someone loses, someone has lost and this certainly does not reflect on high family values. Sara Palin may be a success in her short lived political life but in the most blessed role, she is falling short only to have her children pay the price.

3/9/08 8:47 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/9/08 8:50 PM  
Blogger Dr.Dipwad said...

Ladies, please!

First, everyone knows that picture is a photoshopped fake...right? Right?


Sarah Palin believes that her child (Trig) and her grandchild (Bristol's child) were both, once conceived, nothing other than human beings entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

Now she's either right about that, or wrong about that. But she believes it.

Therefore, if she pressured Bristol into not aborting her baby (there's no evidence to say she did, BTW), then she wasn't wrong to do so.

After all, if your kid bought a puppy, and then decided the dog was too much trouble to bother raising, and said, "Why not just kill the dog, save the hassle of finding another owner?" ...wouldn't you pressure your son or daughter to find a better solution?

Sarah Palin thinks her kid, and her kid's kid, were way more important than a puppy, right from the start.

She might be right; she might be wrong. But given what she thinks, I can't see how even leaning on Bristol not to abort could be wrong.

4/9/08 9:32 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I repeatedly hear (and read) parents commenting that "this is not the example that I want for teenage girls OR boys in this country." The so-called example is an example ONLY if the parent uses it in a positive example in opening communication. It is a copout to use the shortcomings of others to manifest your inability to cease the opportunity to openly discussion the situation with your children thereby guiding them to make informed choices.

Thus, PROCHOICE at its best ... Helping (women) to make informed choices.

4/9/08 10:58 PM  
Blogger rebeccap said...

Did Bill Clinton's BAD choices in his personal life make him a bad president? And who are you to judge her choices, anyway? I am a stay-at-home mom of 5, and I believe that kids should be raised exclusively by their parents until school age. Thar means no day care. Period. I think the Palin children being raised by their father, and even if it is ONLY their father, will be much better off than all the kids that get shipped off to daycare daily. Shame on you who criticize them while paying strangers to raise YOUR kids.

5/9/08 6:01 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Thank you for such a brilliant piece! I couldn't have said it better myself. For those of you that think it would be different if she were a man, I beg to differ. Al Gore planned to run for president in the early nineties but decided against it because he wanted to be there for his family after his son's accident. Yes, he ran for VP in '92. That was more than two years after the accident and once his son had recovered.
Joe Biden was senator elect and considered giving it up to be there for his sons when an accident took his wife and daughter. No, he didn't actually give it up in the end, but that was in a situation where the campaign had already been run, and he was a senator, not a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Democrats know about family values!
BTW, is that photo the real Sarah Palin?

5/9/08 10:08 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

rebeccap -- my children are 16. they don't need daycare, so I guess I can say whatever I want. Great argument!

8/9/08 2:34 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

HUH??? ~ just reread the original post. What do you mean by: "Daddy, who quit his . . . nor should he. It's not his baby." Want to explain this remark? This IS a sexist comment like no other. Not sure why "it's not FIRST DUDE'S baby.

Can someone enlighten us?

8/9/08 2:54 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Sandy, Palin's husband is NOT the daddy of Britney's baby. I think that's simple enough.

10/9/08 8:38 PM  

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