I wish I didn’t love watching Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican convention so much. I love her hair. I love her outfit. I love that she is a great speaker even without a lot of time to train for the convention. I love her sort-of-Wisconsin accent that I sort-of hear myself getting the longer I live in Wisconsin.

I saw her husband hold the baby when she talked about family. I saw her husband give the baby away when she talked about how strong her marriage is. I saw the strain in his face when he smiled. He is a stay-at-home dad, and she didn’t mention that. He just quit his job after twenty years at work. She didn’t mention that.

I can relate to all of that.

I could follow yesterday’s post with a post clarifying my disdain for her. Believe me, I hate her politics. Her politics are so foreign to me that I don’t think I’ve ever even spoken in person with anyone who honestly believes rape victims should not get abortions.

But really, I’ve been like her. Like when she signed up for the PTA to make her kid’s school better. I tried that. It sucked. The lack of power and influence you have in the PTA sucks. It’s the tip of the iceberg of why it sucks to be at home with kids if you are a woman who is a leader — when there is no one to lead, but leading is in your DNA.

On some level, I admire her. I understand how women with big jobs and young kids manage: Compartmentalize, prioritize, multi-task. I am great at that stuff, and so are all the women I know who have big jobs and young kids.

But there is a spot about Palin as VP that mystifies me: Travel. In my life, I have found there is no way to have time with kids when you travel because there is no chance to carve out time; you’re just not there.

And you can’t average it out—kids don’t add up the cumulative time over a month. Maybe an older kid does, but not my three-year-old. Three days away from a three-year-old is a lot. Even for a three-year-old who is supposedly used to it, like mine. Every time (even now) when I’m gone, my husband, who is sort of my ex-husband but not yet, is right there, in the house, taking care of my sons. And it still feels bad for it not to be me.

So I love watching Palin because she makes me believe that I can handle all the travel I do. She is so pretty and capable and somehow, if I ignore that her daughter is pregnant and her husband is lost and her special needs child does not have a mom who is meeting the doctors and therapists and specialists involved in the child’s treatment. If I ignore that, I think that I can travel five times a month and not have a nervous breakdown from the sadness of leaving my kids.

I want to be that. I want to be the CEO who can travel all the time. Because I get invitations to travel to appear on TV, and to travel to deliver speeches, and to travel to wrangle investment in the company. And recently I have been that CEO: I traveled every week for twelve weeks, sometimes twice a week. And everyone said, how do you do it? And I said I don’t know. Because I didn’t know if I was pulling it off or pulling my family apart. I wasn’t sure.

And then I took a break. And when it was time to start traveling again, I had a panic attack. I was driving with my kids to the farm and I remembered how I would be traveling again and I started crying uncontrollably and I snapped at the kids and I drove the car to the farmer‘s house and told him to drive up and down the dirt road for a few minutes while I called my friend who is the only friend I know with both a venture-backed company and the mom responsibilities for a young child, and I told her I can’t do it anymore and she told me she doesn’t know why I didn’t have a breakdown earlier.

She said stop with the speeches and the media and the sky-high aspirations. And after a while I stopped crying and I said okay. And I got back in the car. And I drove to the farm. And we played with chicks and baby pigs and cooked over an open fire.

And then I resumed my travel schedule.

Because I am trying to figure out what’s right. And canceling everything is not what’s right for me. I did the PTA. It sucks. And I’ve done travel every week. It sucks. I don’t know how Palin will do it.

But part of me wants to watch. Will she take her baby? (I’ve done that. It’s impossible to focus.) Will she travel with a nanny? (Done that. It’s awkwardly intimate.) Will she cut back on travel? (Done that. People started doubting me.) What will she do? I want to see because I need some new ideas.

121 replies
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  1. John
    John says:

    > The reaction of the country to Sarah Palin
    > terrifies me. It confirms that most men still
    > want women barefoot and pregnant.

    Only Republican men.

  2. John
    John says:

    Jeremiah said:
    > you’re at your computer. use google. there is
    > much information. judge for yourself yeah or
    > neigh but do you’re own homework.

    We want to see your judgment on what’s good information and what is propaganda. It’s an intelligence and character test. You make the claims, you provide the evidence.

    > and
    > pretending not to be aware of these issues is
    > ridiculous.

    I’m aware of the lame lies the Republicans and Faux have put forward repeatedly for the past eight years, starting with WMDs that were never there and nonexistent threats from nonexistent “terrorists” all over the place. Only cowards like you were deceived.

    > are you 8 years old?

    Your spelling and punctuation skills seem to indicate that’s where your education level is. I haven’t made your mistakes since I was about eight.

  3. Becky
    Becky says:

    Yep, her speech was great, she looks good, part of what/how she says what she says is dynamic. Learn more about her – she is one scary gal, she is not an admirable human being on ALL levels – maybe some, not all. With our cafeteria attitude towards why we like this, not that, about our political leaders – learn to cut out the image, the vision you see and look to the authentic way this woman, or whoever you decide to put on a pedestal, actually lives. Any of us can take the highlights of own lives and sound like a million bucks, but at the end of the day, we all have a life that is messy, boring, interesting and real – choices, realities and what is. Penelope, start following yourself and your own star, not someone else’s – yours is good enough.

  4. kristi
    kristi says:

    Penelope,

    I write this from the road. My 5 children – three teenagers, a pre-schooler, and a toddler – are at home with their Dad/Stepdad.

    I have so much in common with Sarah, it’s comical. Full disclosure: I am an Alaskan, but I didn’t vote for her. I voted for the Dem.

    My mistake. She’s done a terrific job.

    I could list all the superficial ways she and I are similar, but these are the most important:

    1. We both have three older children who we stayed at home with who now participate fully in the raising of the younger children.

    2. We both have a spouse at home who fundamentally supports what we do.

    There is no guilt when I have to travel. None.

    My family rallies for me and my kids get to experience some time with their Dad that builds independence and character.

    Given, I don’t travel as much as you do. Nor as much as she does. But that is my choice.

    It’s not related to whether I have kids or not…I really really hate to fly.

    Guilt is a messenger. It says either your expectations are not realistic or you are not doing what you know you must.

    If you have set unrealistic expectations for yourself, change your expectations. If you are not doing something that you must, then do it.

    And then pat yourself on the back and give yourself a hug for doing the best you can.

    -Kristi

  5. Judith George
    Judith George says:

    Palin scares me because I don’t believe she is who she says she is. I too thought on the night of the speech – nice hair, nice suit, really pretty, good speaker but I also know I was watching Miss Congeniality.

    Sarah Palin scares me because she seems to believe that sending our troupes to Iraq to do “God’s work” is “God’s Will” – yikes! So does that mean she thinks the Iraq war was “God’s Will” as well? So is she saying the George W was doing God’s Work by telling us lies so he could start the war?

  6. Yvette
    Yvette says:

    Yeah, I also find it fascinating to see how a “successful” woman manages work and family. She has extended family, that helps. She’s also traveling on a multi-million dollar travel budget. That helps.

    I don’t suppose the extra protection service she gets, courtesy of your tax dollars at work of course, hurts, either. She’s a role model for making it seem easy, but we don’t all have such advantages. The kids are likely getting some days out of school and they’ll have to relocate in January, if her party wins, but Mrs. McCain seems well able to help in the domestic area, and there’s a team support for the family that we’d all agree is sanity saving.

    Will she likely support regulated (i.e. safe) childcare facilities, for working parents? Tax cuts for small businesses that provide health insurance, or back-up childcare support? Maybe.

    Leadership style is what is in question, now, I think, for deciding to vote or not for her and her party. McCain is not “the usual” Republican, and so for the first time in a long time, I admire qualities about both parties. There’s still that pesky war, and energy policy, too.

    I think there’s only one VP debate, so that’ll be well-watched, I’m sure. What are her skills at managing foreign relations (cutting foreign aid?), economic policy (military spending?), and our country’s budget process (the DOT, FAA, Environmental Protection, etc.)? Who would she nominate to the Supreme Court?

    So, 60 days, and counting…. Interesting topic.

  7. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I love this one too P!

    I’m not putting bad karma out there BUT I would like to point out the obvious fact that John McCain will probably die or come close to it if he was elected based on his health conditions and age.

    Sarah Palin comes from Alaska – not a highly populated state. Her speech was dripping with false statements and it was more like a comedy routine than a serious talk about the ISSUES.

    She made fun at community organizers and how they don’t have REAL responsiblities. Listen up evangelicals she just insulted your PASTORS AND PREACHERS. They are community organizers, are they not? They have responsibilities, do they not? And what about all of the Red Cross volunteers — last time I checked they are community organizers? Or soup kitchen workers? Or ANY type of volunteer group for that matter. What about the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts? So…while she THOUGHT she was funny – she’s not.

    It is not time for joking and comedy when people are losing their houses and becoming homeless. It is not funny when people have to choose between heating their house, filling up their car or putting food on the table. It is not funny when John McCain voted AGAINST raising minimum wage to the mere pennies it is now. It is not funny when the middle class is dissappearing and the gap between the poor and the rich is growing wider.

    Not once did I hear the GOP mention those issues. All they did was talk about war, war heros, war….war…did I mention the war?

    I am a 23 year old white woman by the way who considers myself an independent. I give both candidates and parties a fair ear. I am Christian may I add for those wondering the background.

    So, before Sarah makes those jokes thinking that she is putting a “jab” in at Obama – she needs to get her facts straight before insulting most Americans who volunteer – Community organizers DO have responsibilities.

    She should be ashamed of herself for reading those words that were purposely crafted by the GOP. Get your own words – write your own speech…you’re going for the VP position, geez.

    RED FLAG: She is not doing any media interviews. Maybe because she is really not prepared and can’t handle the grueling questions? HMMM…..makes you wonder and realize that she IS just a pawn.

  8. Jasmine Tanner
    Jasmine Tanner says:

    Here’s some info about Sarah probably none of you know. You might want to consider it before coronating her. The letter below was posted on the Washington Independent's website beneath an article about Sarah Palin. While we don't necessarily know the creds of the person who wrote it, [Snopes does: http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/kilkenny.asp -ed.] the stats about spending in her state would be easy enough to check if we had any real investigative reporters out there today. Being that the media spends its days either engaged in provocative banter and baiting on cable news "infotainment" programs or chasing Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie, I'm not holding my breath. But I thought the underlined parts illustrate beautifully the myth that Republicans are fiscally-responsible and Democrats are tax and spend. (Yeah, yeah, I know, the Republicans had to do all that catchup spending because of the cuts made when Jimmy Carter was president in the Seventies. Honest to God, someone said that to me today.)
    .

  9. tdukes
    tdukes says:

    “I knew there was a price to pay for not being there with my children and to this day I ache when I think about it. They had their mother to sustain them, but I worried about the effect of that part of me I left behind – my absence. They lived with the presence of my absence and I wonder about the costs – the opportunities lost – the life not lived.” http://www.thisoldgrouch.com

  10. roschelle
    roschelle says:

    This whole thing is so bizarre to me. It’s like being in a bad dream and not being able to wake up. Are you serious, America? Palin was virtually unknown outside of Alaska just ONE week ago. A woman, who in her own words “wondered what it is a Vice President does all day”. A woman who wants to deny women the right to terminate a pregnancy even if conception occurs as a result of rape or incest.

    Now, she’s more popular than Obama or McCain. What does that say about the mindset of voters in this country. I’ve heard people express how much they love her, her kids, even her parents…who’ve only been shown on TV once at the RNC and have never uttered a word (as far as an interview goes) So what is it about her that has endeared her to so many people.

    The scandalous baggage that accompanies her nomination is as lengthy as the Bering Strait…yet she’s almost revered by many woman and some men that have been interviewed since the announcement by McCain that she would be his running mate.

    The “maverick” is looking more and more like a sidekick…merely going along with the powers that be…he says and does whatever he thinks his champions want to hear. Just like calling lobbyists ‘birds of prey’ which is a total contradiction to what his true ties with these unnecessary evils in Washington are.

    Come on America…are we so shallow that a pretty face is all it takes to win us over? Gov. Palin hasn’t given not ONE interview outlining her plans for this country as VP since McCain picked her….only pre-written rhetoric aimed at tearing down the Democratic nominee and his party.

  11. John
    John says:

    > Come on America – are we so shallow that a pretty
    > face is all it takes to win us over?

    Yes. Shallow and uneducated. Forty percent of us don’t believe in evolution, for example, and aren’t sure if the earth goes around the sun or vice-versa. Americans are about as uneducated as Medieval people were, but they had a better excuse. They had swords at their throats. With us it’s voluntary.

  12. Juki Schor
    Juki Schor says:

    “Palin scares me because I don’t believe she is who she says she is.”

    “Sarah Palin scares me because she seems to believe that sending our troupes to Iraq to do “God’s work” is “God’s Will” – yikes! So does that mean she thinks the Iraq war was “God’s Will” as well?”

    The problem is that most people still haven’t realized that they should also be scared of God as he, also, is not what we were made to believe he is. I think Sarah Palin is just telling a plain truth, only that Americans don’t want to take off their purple sunglasses when it comes to God.

  13. Hockey Mom
    Hockey Mom says:

    The issue Penelope is not the travel. The issue is what you want to offer your kids. I spent several years leaving Sunday night, getting home Friday night just in time to go to my kids hockey games, spending the weekend at their activities, doing laundry and getting on a plane and doing it over again week after week. I did it because I believed in what I did, it made me a better person and a better Mom and I had a supportive husband who allowed me to keep this hectic schedule. My kids are now in college, well adjusted, in great relationships and our family is as close as ever. I never tried to do it all. There were times when I had to miss concerts, games etc. There were also times when I missed important meetings. It all came down to choice. I did what I had to do for my family and myself. It worked for me. But only because I believed that I was doing the best I could for my family. You have it so much easier with cell phones, e-mails and instant messaging. You can keep in touch with your child and still do your work. Sarah and her family will also work it out. I hate when women question each other’s decisions and judge what they do. When I look at Sarah and her husband I see a team that works together, raising their family that they love. Nothing more and nothing less.

  14. eeb
    eeb says:

    Just a few comments here… so yes the public enjoys the drama, of a fake, then not-so-fake pregnancy of a 17yr old… the so-called exploits of a 44 year self proclaimed ‘hockey mom’… and when you stand her next to a 72 year old white as can be man, her youth does instantly give her a glean. It’s the good old advertising trick and it works here as well (put two objects, one less preferable than the other – and the other isn’t really very good to begin with) and we all want to be like her, but c’mon – really? she comes from an income strata that is like this huge band-aid across the cold and increasingly harsh realities of life. Sure, with money, I wouldn’t care if my 17yr old got pregnant and chalk that up to my prolife stance, or that I could afford a babysitter for a baby with Down’s syndrom. How many women can truly identify with her life of privilege?

    Contrast that to the Reagan – now there was a guy who could communicate – who understood what it felt like to be making a tough living and who spoke with conviction that inspires on either side of the political division. Even today!

    Sorry, P (P for Palin that is), is to me, just a flim flam.

  15. Matt
    Matt says:

    I understand your point, I do, and I’m with you when you say you hate her politics.

    But I don’t get why everyone is picking at her ability to run for VP when she has a young family. I live in the UK, and our former Prime Minister Tony Blair raised four young children whilst he was in office, including one who was born during his time in Downing Street.

    Yes, the role of the father is different, but equally important nonetheless. And whilst he was leading the country, his wife Cherie was a full-time QC; both clearly extremely demanding roles.

    The fact is that whether you’re running for President, or working 10 hours a day, 7 days a week in Wal-Mart, a good parent will always find a way to raise their children respectably. My parents both held down full-time jobs whilst raising me and my brother, and I know few parents who don’t work full-time and balance their working lives with their parental responsibilities.

    And what better place would there be to grow up than the White House, with mommy and daddy working at home most of the time?

  16. Gwen
    Gwen says:

    Travelling with a baby under a year, a teenager pregnant, and running for one the highest offices in the country…. Sarah will in time realize not even with the energy ‘ of pit bull’ in time the having the energy to continue with this blast, will be impossible!

    Many of us women have been there done that… no thanks for the ride on that plane. Goping be quite messy with diapers, and bottles over the place. Not as easy as she makes it sound! But a great act, nevertheless.
    http://manchestersquare.blogspot.com/

  17. Jennifer SD
    Jennifer SD says:

    I find this post extremely important. You really showed your vulnerability. I totally agree. There is the mom guilt that we as mothers have just genetically there and we can’t just overlook our genetics. I know what you mean by pretty. It is more of an awe that she seems so put together and holding strong to her beliefs and a mom and has a husband and doesn’t have the “perfect” life that so many politicians try to show they have when we all know it is a lie. It is a beauty that a woman wishes she had.
    I am a working mom and many times I just want to scream, but no one is watching my every move or judging my every word. However, we are all doing this to Palin. She can’t just stop and scream, yell at her kids, stay in her PJ’s on a saturday because she needs a break etc. We are all watching and judging. It is not sexism to say I am not sure if a mom can do this job. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t want to give up my precious time with my family. But we are all waiting almost to see how she does it and in some ways will she be successful or will she fail and which is it that we all want to see happen?

  18. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    Another great Palin post! Keep ’em coming, reading the comments is almost as much fun as reading the post. As a mother of 3 who worked full time and traveled (without the benefit of a stay-at-home husband!), I know it is a tough road to travel – no pun intended. But there is a fundamental difference in what Sarah Palin is doing and what the rest of us do every day – we do it in obscurity, where no one notices or cares much about our screw-ups. Sarah Palin is doing it on a national stage (sorry, no one paid much attention when she was up in Alaska), where every move she makes is scrutinized by you, late night comedians, and pretty much everyone else. That alone makes her job much more difficult. And I for one think she’s nuts if she thinks she can pull it off. At some point she’s going to stumble, and her fall will be spectacular. She’ll end up setting working mothers back 50 years.

  19. Rick Steeber
    Rick Steeber says:

    Nice job……I always enjoy reading your articles, but wanted to respond
    to this one….
    1.) Your kids love you – always know and remember that.
    2.) You have to also love yourself – you are doing a lot of the right things
    but it is going to be hard – if it was easy everybody would be doing
    it. —–so—–
    3.) Don’t give up your dreams – if you can work with your “X” there are
    ways you can travel and he can take care of the kids – they love him too,
    so they are not going to hate you because they are with him.
    4.) I know “setting up a schedule” sounds like an easy solution and it never
    really is, but, if you can do your travel 4 days a week, the other “3” are
    really great (and maybe enough) “kids time”.
    5.) The PTA does suck – try something else – I personally love teaching Junior
    Achievement – gets you into the class room teaching kids stuff they don’t
    normally get and guess what – you can pick the class and subject – so if
    your oldest is in grade school – pick a class that s/he is in and teach that
    class for an hour a week for six weeks (great stuff – and the kids (especially
    your’s) will love it)…Also very rewarding for you and see thought #2 (love
    yourself)….!…..
    6.) Never stop writing these articles – it is soul food for me and a lot of your
    other regular readers – “THANK YOU”…..!…..
    7.) I will see what I can do to get you on Sarah’s plane – or at least
    her bus when she is in Wisconsin…..
    Thank you,
    …Rick…

  20. Arline Beagan
    Arline Beagan says:

    Keep giving yourself away.
    It is why I read your blog.
    Ms Palin is a beautiful GOPAC trainee.
    We are attracted to beauty, it is part of our human nature.
    She is very good and we must educate ourselves to be aware of what is going on.
    The Republicans are very good at getting elected, they have proven that in the last elections.
    I will be voting for Obama.
    I will vote on the serious issues facing our country.
    We can admire and yet not vote for – all at the same time.
    You will make the right choices for you. No one says it is easy. We all have an intention. We just all have to figure out what our own is.

  21. Jim
    Jim says:

    According to this article Sarah Palin hid her pregnancy until 3rd trimester, and only told close family & friends about the Downs. Her children didn’t even know about the Downs until the baby was born.

    The article also says she doesn’t separate motherhood from business in that the kids are with her alot at her offices, & she even has a crib & swing in her offices for the baby & she nurses the baby in her office while on conference calls.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/09/08/america/08baby.php

  22. Celeste
    Celeste says:

    I wish that non-political blogs, such as this one, would stay that way.

    I was going to comment along the lines of Jim’s post, that Palin often takes her children to the office, including admitting that she has often nursed her son while on telecons.

    I’m also not sure that we can call her husband “lost” just by a few grimaces during the RNC. Perhaps he is claustrophobic, or hates large crowds, or ate something bad and really had to use the bathroom…

  23. Sue Staley
    Sue Staley says:

    I can’t believe the 1950’s era statements made in this blog and by commenters. Sarah and Todd have made a decision that she will serve the public just as the McCain’s, Obama’s, Clinton’s, Bush’s etc. The only difference is that Sarah is being cast as someone that should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen tending to her young family. Her family will deal with her decision to serve the public as every other government leader’s family has had to. Give her a break and your support whether you agree with her politics or not. She is a role model for girls and women to aspire to their highest potential and to live their values in the face of criticism. Who knows what leaders will follow because Sarah had the courage to run for VP.

  24. Working Girl
    Working Girl says:

    We so often judge our leaders in terms of ourselves. Is this a person we’d like? Would we like to sit down and have a beer/cup of coffee with him/her?

    If so, we vote yes!

    But people who run for high office aren’t like us. Judging them in terms of what we could manage, what we would want for ourselves, is I think a mistake.

  25. Danny
    Danny says:

    Wow Penelope, I’m impressed by the number of conservatives that read your blog. I had no idea. So hay, does anybody else here, besides me, think Palin is a “nut Job?” Forget about the kids thing, the woman is crazy. Some NRA extremist will probably take out McCain so this pit-bull mom can reinstate whale hunting. But don’t worry about all whale’s, I’m sure that only those whales that are homosexual and beyond being converted by prayer would be eligible for whaling. That being said, I do think she is a totally hot. It would almost be kind of cool to have a hot VP. But before I get too off track here, here are just a few links for you.

    Most have heard about this scandal. She is under investigation in Alaska for abuse of power for trying to fire the public safety commissioner. http://www.ktva.com/ci_10026165

    This trend didn’t start a governor. She abused this power as Mayer of her small town as well and tried to fire a librarian that wouldn’t censor. http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/515512.html

    Then there is the Blasting wolfs from an airplane law that she helped put in place. Now, I actually don’t have a problem with hunters and there is an ongoing effort in Alaska to control the wolf population in support of growing the big game population (also for hunting). Whether you support that or not, how much of a gun freak do you have to be to allow blowing them away from planes? Still think she won’t want to go to war just for pure sport? http://www.alternet.org/environment/97207 . It would be one thing if the citizens of her state wanted this but they don’t. In fact they voted against it twice. http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=8851174. It’s what she wants, not the people she governs.

    Palin, a member of the anti-choice group Feminists for Life, said during her campaign for governor that she is opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. [Juneau Empire, “Abortion Draws Clear Divide in State Races,” accessed 8/29/08 and Anchorage Daily News, “Governor's Race: Top contenders meet one last time to debate,” 11/03/06.]
    http://www.naral.org/elections/election-pr/pr08292008_palin.html

    Anybody here believe in Science? You will get a kick out of these.
    On Creationism http://www.thelangreport.com/religion-or-lack-of/sarah-palin-wants-creationism-taught-in-school/
    On Global Warming (apparently a farce) http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/08/palin-global-wa.html

    I can go on and on all day folks, but I wont. Please do a little research of your own before you vote this year. If you don’t like Obama, write in Mickey Mouse or something but please beware of this “nut job.” But a pretty “nut job.”

  26. Odysseus
    Odysseus says:

    Every now and then I like to check this blog to see if you are still peddling the same ‘ol self absorbed exhibitionist fest. You never disappoint. I find it unlikely that you feel guilty about child care issues as much as it fits your image to talk about feeling guilty about child care issues. From your writings your priorities are very clear, so nobody is kidding anybody. Somehow you generally make everything a narcissistic mirror, even a national election.

    What does this candidate’s life say about meeeeee?

    And how is her husband “lost”? Little projection there regarding your own X?

    Well at least you are consistent.

  27. CAK
    CAK says:

    We have this book on penguins in Antarctica–their lifestyle, y’know.
    The mother is sitting on the egg. She’s been sitting there a long time without food. When the egg hatches, the mother goes off towards the sea, where she must get food for herself or starve.
    The penguin chick sits on the father’s feet, tucked up under his feathers, and they both wait for the mom to return. When she returns, it is the father’s turn to go to the sea to catch his belly-ful.
    Nobody told those penguins it couldn’t work.
    They make it work with less angst and analysis than we are doing here.
    PT, minimize the angst/crying, keep on experimenting with your schedule to see what works best. Enlist the help of those who love your children and who are good teachers for them.

    CAK

  28. April
    April says:

    But even if Sarah was pro-choice, I would vote for her. She’s gotten where she’s at on her own, not on the coat-tails of a husband. She’s supportive of the military. She can gut a caribou. She’s broke all her fingers on a fishing boat. And Sarah Barracuda hasn’t sat in an America-hating church for 20 years. That’s a big plus, too.

  29. Paul
    Paul says:

    I just want to say that I appreciate what and how you write. I love feeling like I know you, even though I don’t. Your life, like many, is a beautiful mess.

    I see all these yes/no, black/white responses, and it just makes me sad, because that’s the problem with the world today. No nuance, no appreciation for subtlety or dichotomy. These are a few of my favorite things.

    I’m resisting the urge to get into a rant here, to go all “I am John Gault” on everyone. Just a show of support and sincere appreciation. We love ya, Penelope. Don’t change a thing.

  30. tom
    tom says:

    No, Sarah Barracuda’s sat in a church that teaches that you’re going to hell is you support John Kerry. And she, herself, has described Iraq as “God’s war.”

    As for the caribou-gutting. Yes, that’s just what we’ve been missing from our President and VP throughout the year. If only we’d had a caribou-gutter in office, surely America would be on the right track today.

    Thanks for preserving a perfect record: I haven’t heard a single person with more than half a brain support Palin.

  31. natekazebier
    natekazebier says:

    > Wow Penelope, I’m impressed by the number of
    > conservatives that read your blog. I had no idea.

    Why not? Penelope = Careerist, brash, narcissistic, not well-educated, unaware of her limitations, delusional, a failure at everything she tries.

    Sounds like a magnet for conservatives. I’m sure GW has her page bookmarked. And Cindy probably keeps it marked for John McCain, since he can’t use a computer.

  32. natekazebier
    natekazebier says:

    > Every now and then I like to check this blog

    Excellent, spot-on post. The fact that everyone else doesn’t see what a mentally-ill narcissist she is speaks volumes about this generation and where we as Americans are headed.

  33. Juki Schor
    Juki Schor says:

    I am not sure if any of these blog articles are meant for real or just for entertainment. Considering the amazing amount of response they have, I just feel the urge to state that the topic, although handled in a great style and with a lot of wit, has in my opinion no relevance with respect to deciding an election. It is clear that a woman who is aiming for the White House will put her family second. As she seems to have close relations to God she will also have no difficulties to explain to her children that they are altogether serving a higher purpose and can be proud of it. No matter how many special need kids she has, she has also all means for special needs care for her children which other parents don’t, so her situation is only remotely comparable to the average American woman. Consequently I would lay the focus of investigation on her program with respect to work/life balance for “normal” people, checking whether it is realistic, considering the fact that the system won’t change over night. I haven’t read much about this anywhere, from neither side, Obama or McCain, but admitted, I haven’t had time to read everything out there, after all, USA is far away.
    It still “worries” me, as voting decisions seem to be based on outlook and public behaviour of the candidates, their ability to get people excited, the feelings of “hope for change” they are able to install in the unfortunate public (the first I call demagogy and hope is too weak a feeling to change anything) as well as distant similarities with one’s own life (woman, demanding job, special needs children).
    I personally would want to know whether a canditat will expect America’s women to live up to her achievements (kind of: I could do it, why can’t you), ignoring the fact that normal people don’t have the same circumstances and life goals. Or whether she is using her influence to make things more realistic (in a sense: I have done it, it sucks, so let’s change it). Any information on this out there?

  34. CAK
    CAK says:

    PT & Juki:
    It is my impression that ambition rules the day, with respect to politics and entrepreneurial ventures.

    Some of the politicians say they feel called to this life of service. I dunno. I don’t think we can know about their deep-down motives. Maybe they are fooling themselves, as well as fooling the electorate. Maybe it is pure ambition, without bowing to the possibility of heeding the call . . . which implies a higher ground, somehow.

    In politics, it is a crap-shoot and an experiment–how to prioritize our values, how to adopt policies, how to make laws. The candidates make it sound like they are very certain of where the country should be going. I think they are all lying and/or fooling themselves about their level of certainty. I think it is all experimental.

    For example: it has been pointed out that both Obama and Palin lack experience. Yes. Amen.
    So, what to do? They must surround themselves with a think-tank that 1) is experienced and 2) has creativity. 3) There must be a Plan A and a Plan B to fall back upon (remembering that everything is of necessity an experiment, a trial-and-error venture). Forget the brazen over-confidence. If you need to back-track, do so with humility. Go to Plan B.

    This is kind-of what Juki says in her last paragraph, on her 9/9 comment . . . Palin may want to promote some women’s issues where she has achieved the impossible; and if she is honest, she will let go of some challenges that are/were just too much for her and for other mothers who want a high-level career. Likewise, PT. It is like sparring or dancing–approach and retreat, forward and backwards, since both are valid strategies.

    CAK

  35. Jim
    Jim says:

    Newsweek just published an article comparing internet runors about Sarah Palin with researched facts.

    Soledad O’Brien got burned from one of these facts when she pointed out that Sarah Palin allegedly cut Special Needs funding in education when in fact Sarah tripled it.

    Tripled it.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/157986

    We are so emdedded with our biases and views that even when facts refuting our views are given, we just can’t seem to break away from our thinking. Both sides project their learned biases onto the other side.

    The problem is candidates from both sides break the mold. That makes it difficult in our heads to reconcile.

    How dare a Mother of 5 be a Governor and a Mother at the same time

    How dare an African-American candidate appeal to a mass audience and be articulate.

    We need to look at the facts, put aside our collective bias favoring either party / ideology, and look at these candidates based solely on their record and facts.

    Newsweek article posted below:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/157986

  36. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    @natekazebier

    “Penelope = Careerist, brash, narcissistic, not well-educated, unaware of her limitations, delusional, a failure at everything she tries.”

    Do us all a favor and try not to treat your blog posts as Penelope-bashing therapy sessions. If you don’t like what she has to say, post your inane comments elsewhere.

  37. R
    R says:

    That’s funny that just because you can’t do it that you think other people can’t. At my old job, everyone flew from Monday through Thursday only to see their family on the weekend.

    It’s people like you who pay money for stupid tabloids and magazines to see dumb celebrities make more and more babies that they’ll never take care of. It’s people like you that keep reading them which makes the company go out and put them on the cover. Which in turn makes celebrities want to have more babies to get the buzz going. You think the celebrities are great, you don’t question their stupidity and lifestyle.

    There are lots of ways to still have children and run for VP.

    Why don’t you criticize OBAMA’s ability to take care of HIS CHILDREN?

    It’s a double standard and it’s backwards. Just because she’s a woman you’re saying she should be taking care of her children. WHO IS TO SAY SHE ISNT? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S OFF THE CAMERAS.

    SOMEONES ABILITY TO HAVE TIME FOR CHILDREN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING A GREAT VP FOR THE COUNTRY.

    You media/literature/playwrighting idiots are so left winged you can’t even think. If you don’t like this country, LEAVE IT AND GO TO A COMMUNIST SOCIETY THAT YOU SO DESIRE.

  38. Dara
    Dara says:

    “I want to see because I need some new ideas.”

    It’s like you aged 10 years through the course of writing two blogs. You almost completely slammed Palin with judgment in the first column and now you’re thinking there might be something to learn from her. I wish we all had the “I want to see because I need some new ideas” attitude and not feel like we know it all. I’m not saying change your belief system or be wishy washy, but be open.

    Your last sentence was a stark contrast to “I honestly don’t think I’ve ever talked with someone who believed rape victims shouldn’t get an abortion.” That makes me (a pro-lifer) feel the same as you would feel if I flippantly said “I honestly don’t think I’ve ever talked with someone who believed killing a baby is okay.”

    I know you don’t want to read this “new idea,” but I bet I know Palin’s secret. It’s her faith. No, she isn’t perfect and I’m sure any scrap of dirty laundry that can be will be brought out in the next weeks and months. Yet, please know that secular research has proven the authenticity of religion (or high character if that’s less scary to think about) to happier people and mental well being. I suggest reading a secular book called Authentic Happiness (pushes no religion) by Martin Seligman a pyschologist and see what the data says about happiness or a “sane life.” Then, I’d suggest reading a Bible (normally I’d suggest reading the Bible first, but these days that’s about as useful as telling someone “I can’t believe you are ok with killing babies”). Perspective is a funny thing.

  39. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    Less politics and more career information, please. :-) I have to hear about the throwback to cave days that is the GOP VP pick on a daily basis everywhere else. Why ruin a perfectly good career blog talking about her? I need a break!

  40. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    “I can’t believe that as a WOMAN she is against abortion even in the case of rape and incest. How barbaric to make a woman have to carry the child of a rapist for 9 months and then forever after! Most pro-life people (like myself) make that distinction- they believe abortion is wrong except in the case of rape or incest.”

    I actually think Sarah Palin’s views are more consistent than yours, and of “most pro-life people” if they share your views. This is why: You say you believe abortion is wrong because it’s killing a person. Well if a fertilized egg, or fetus, or zygote, or whatever is a person, it’s a person regardless of how it came to be conceived. That “person” did not have any say in its father being a rapist, or in its mother being attacked. It didn’t ask to be brought into existence, but you’re saying it’s okay to kill it because of the unfortunate circumstances in which it came to exist?

    Here is where your true colors start to show. If you think it’s okay to kill a fetus that was conceived through rape, obviously you don’t really think a fetus is a person in the first place. This isn’t about abortion being murder, you are just hiding behind that argument like a coward. This is really about PUNISHING WOMEN FOR HAVING SEX. You don’t want to punish a woman for being raped (how kind of you) so no need to force her to carry the pregnancy to term. Those godless whores, though, with the unmitigated GALL to have sex just for fun, or love, and think they can GET AWAY WITH IT – now THOSE sluts need to pay. Make them carry those pregnancies to term, and THAT’LL teach ’em.

    You don’t think a fetus is a person, you think a fetus is a punishment or a consequence, like a parking ticket.

    I am pro-choice but have respect for a pro-life person who is CONSISTENT in their views about abortion being murder. The minute you try to tell me it is or isn’t murder, based on the circumstances surrounding conception, is the minute I lose ALL respect for anything you have to say. You are just trying to control people, plain and simple.

  41. Jennifer SD
    Jennifer SD says:

    Wow did we get off topic here.
    I think we were talking about career advice and how a woman in power can do it all or can’t do it all. Can you feel like a good parent and never be home during the week. Can you have it all and still fail and what will other people think. we all know that men in power usually have a wife at home taking care of life. Can a woman with that much power have a husband take a back seat? He does seem like a manly man. I think that was Penelope’s goal of the blog but I could be wrong.

  42. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    “In my life, I have found there is no way to have time with kids when you travel because there is no chance to carve out time; you’re just not there.”

    There will be times you can’t travel with your kids. You can’t always be there and there’s no substitute for it so I’ll float the following idea in case you haven’t thought of it or tried it already – a web cam. You would need some good hardware and a good broadband connection on both ends for a good experience.

  43. C. Helms
    C. Helms says:

    It’ refreshing to hear someone comment on both the good and negative aspects of a candidate. I am so sick of the “football mentality” in the public – yeah, our team is completely terrific, your team is completely bad. What narrow-mindedness. That you arre willing to see Palin’s good points even though there is much you don’t like about her shows that you are fair and balanced. More than I can say for most people I speak to these days.

    No politician is all good or bad. I constantly hear Obama supporters put McCain down as “just like Bush” – have these people never heard of Campaign Finance Reform? John McCain went against his own party to sponser a bill that would virtually eliminate big business buying politicians – so that individual American’s votes would count. Isn’t that precisely the kind of change Obama’s party keeps chanting about? Well, McCain actually DID it. It didn’t quite pass, but it came mighty close. Can you see Bush doing that? And no, I’m not a Republican – but that doesn’t mean I can’t see both sides of an issue.

    Kudos for you being fair and intelligent enough to see the positive and negative in a person. More people should “take the blinders off.”

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