Palin Again–As Parent

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I think Palin has gotten where she is today because she plays the game the old boys’ way while conforming to their concept of what femininity should look like. Not just her physical appearance, but also her values. You have to wonder: would McCain have picked Palin if she didn’t have kids? Would she be so popular in certain circles if she only had one (like Hillary)?

The reason I bring up children (plural) is because there’s a misconception in this society that the more kids you have the better mother you are. And Palin has five! Wow! She must really be something. Not only because she was able to pop them out, but because she’s able to handle them, and all while moving up the ranks in the white-male-dominated power structure that is politics.

Having an only child is not only considered easy (or at least easier), it is also considered selfish. Being a parent isn’t a cake walk, no matter how many kids you have. If you have one, you use all your energy raising that one child. When you have more, you use the same amount of energy, divided up among many.

As a mother of four, I know whereof I speak. After all, I had just one child at one point–for three and a half years before baby number two appeared on the scene. And that one child flummoxed me just as much as they all did as the family grew. My oldest daughter has had only one child for almost ten years, and as far as I can see, she worries as much as I did (do) about four.

I don’t know Palin’s children. On television they seemed happy and clean-cut. I don’t doubt that she and her husband have done as good a job as they could do raising them. But don’t feed me any b.s. about her being a supermom just because she has five.

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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