This summer, I tried with all of my heart to go running before work. However, every now and then when my alarm went off at six a.m., and it was still dark, and my bed was so warm, and our apartment (AKA the icebox) was oh-so-cold, I let myself roll over and save the run for the evening.
On these days, though, it almost never failed that as I drove to work I'd see some young pregnant mom bopping along with a double wide stroller stacked with two toddlers. Or some old old man shuffling along, sweating on those hot Atlanta mornings.
And before I even had time to process just how impressive it was that the little pregnant lady was able to get those two kids out the door by seven thirty, I'd be consumed with guilt. If they can do it, why couldn't I? I'm younger than them, one hour earlier shouldn't make me that much more tired.
I think my guilt is similar to what a lot of women feel when they see Sarah Palin. As a mother of five, including an infant with Down syndrome and a pregnant 17-year-old, how does she have time to hold what is considered the second most important position in America? How can she do it all? And if she can be the Vice President and take care of all five (soon to be six) kids, why can't someone else work a nine-to-five with just two kids?
Of course, I find it impressive to have even one child and no job, seeing as I often feel overwhelmed with no children or job, but, hey, some ladies out there are still comparing themselves to Palin, and the guilt that encircles them upon such comparison, forces them to decide that no, Palin cannot do it. It's not possible.
There are a number of other reasons that Americans are objecting to McCain's decision. However, I think there are a quite a few women hiding behind the idea that Palin would either have to neglect her job as the mother of five or neglect her job as the mother of America if she is elected to this position. But in actuality, they're just feeling guilty about the fact that they are not doing quite as much.
Of course, I think this guilt is unnecessary. Within the last week, since both of my brothers have arrived at IU with me, I've been consumed with worry. Constantly, I've been concerned about their well-being, or if they're doing enough on campus and going to class and being careful...it's exhausting!
And, seeing as I'm not their mom, but instead their sister, I can only imagine how much energy my mom spends worrying about all five of us. Having them both at school with me has given me a new take on motherhood: 1) I'm not even close to being ready for it and 2) Simply worrying about your children, not even including taking care of them, is at least a part time job (if not an FTJ).
And with my revelation comes the lesson that those feeling guilty about Palin's success need not compare themselves to her. Maybe she's one of those lucky people that just let's her worries go, and therefore she's spent all that extra energy pursuing the White House. Or maybe, she doesn't sleep...
Either way, one woman's success should never be a source for insecurity in someone else. Granted, I wouldn't have believed it if you'd told me this on my morning commute this summer...
But I guess that's why they say that those who can't do, teach.