Q&A #94: The Mothering Role Of A Conservative Woman

by Melissa Clouthier | September 12, 2008 11:52 am

Question : When my wife and I decided to start a family, we had many long talks about how important it was that she, as the mother, be able to stay home and dedicate herself to raising the baby. When we discussed the possibility of me staying home, we kind of just laughed about it. Both of us believed (and still believe) that there is inherent value in a child being raised at home by its mother. I always considered this to be a staple of conservative values.

Was I wrong? –President Friedman

Short answer: No.

Long answer: It depends. The decision you made is one I made myself, kinda. And I think that’s the same for Sarah Palin. Like Palin, I have a profession where I can bring my kids to work, change around my hours, and go in and out of the workforce. Like Governor Palin, I have choices. Not all women do.

In addition, Governor Palin did not start in politics. She started in the PTA which makes DC look tame, if my experience is any indication. Then her career took off and with that reality, her husband changed around his work schedule. And like they said, they have a lot of familial support.

Also, women have always worked. If they lived on a farm, they worked with their husbands. During the war, they worked at the factory. Women have worked and raised decent kids.

Sarah Palin took her baby to work for four months. She greets her kids after school. It’s challenging. She only requires four hours of sleep per night. But she does it.

To me, as a woman who likes to stay engaged in the world and wants to contribute and not just as a mom, I feel that there needs to be more flexibility. Last year, I took time off from work but still blogged for hours a day and home schooled too. I don’t think my kids have suffered at all.

There are certain things men can’t do–nursing a baby comes to mind. This is very important to me. I nursed all my kids for a very long time. However, some women can’t and won’t and so a loving father can provide nurturing. My good friend’s wife died and he’s been a single dad (hunter, fisher, outdoorsman who brings her with him) and he’s done a great job.

Women are uniquely made to have babies and care for them. There is a certain biology involved. Men nurture also, just differently. I just believe that a woman can do both. If Sarah Palin has gifts to serve not only her children but serve the whole country, why not? It is a service and her children are clearly serving, too. But so are Barack Obama’s kids, too. His kids see him sporadically. They will survive.

These kids have parents who can make a difference for the world. The example they’ll see is sacrifice.

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