Meghan McCain campaigned for
dad John in 2008It's a tricky recipe for women in public office. Serve the greater good or put your family first. Sometimes candidates' kids just look like props in a photo-op. And oh my gosh, sometimes they do the most unpredictable things. (like when Piper Palin was caught raising a certain finger -- yikes!) Whoever Sarah Palin's advisors were must be kicking themselves that the decision led to introducing the public to Levi Johnston. Just google Bristol Palin boyfriend and you'll see why I think timing may be everything. Maybe it's okay to have them along when they're young enough to wear bows in their hair or old enough to help craft talking points.
One of the sweetest memories I have is of my daughter and one of her best friends, who were probably in first or second grade at the time, standing next to that girl's mother as she brought down the gavel to close out her last session as Speaker and get ready to run for statewide office. The girls collapsed in giggles and took off for the rotunda where they ran around a super narrow walkway way up high inside the dome of the State Capitol building.
The girls are still good friends. And two of the first kids to throw their hands up and offer opinions in their eighth grade history class where they are studying American government. I like to think they were inspired by that moment and that mom!
But what if you're an imperfect mother like me, would you really want the press recording your less than fine moments in mothering? I disagree with her politics in many cases but in this case, my heart goes out to Sarah Palin. Like your 'tweener talking back, the occasional potty mouth or the fact that you give yourself the timeouts just to get a break every now and then?
I guess I would take them to events where they could really learn something but lean on my mommy friends to help out when I couldn't. We may not all have the ability to serve but we do all have to ability to support those who do.
This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: Candidates' Kids on the Campaign Trail: Good Idea or Bad?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr