Each morning, it's my goal to do two things before Baby J wakes up: first, grab a bowl of gluten-free Honey Chex. And second, read the Morning Jolt by Jim Geraghty on National Review Online. It gives me a condensed, link-filled, 4-point summary of the day's news. And it usually makes me laugh, too.
Yesterday's Jolt featured commentary on the liberal snickering about Sarah Palin, who recently said to the crowd at a Tea Party rally: "Don't party like it's 1773 yet." Geraghty has written before about what he calls our "narrative-reinforcement" main-stream media, saying that:
...once the narrative is set, it is very hard to alter... It's been remarked in the Corner, among other places, that every prominent Republican is either classified as either dumb or evil. Dumb: George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford (or at least bumbling). Evil: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Newt Gingrich.
Sarah Palin, as we all know, must be stupid in the eyes of the media. She has five kids and a strange accent. And once a public official labeled "dumb" says something, it must be dumb. If she says gravity pulls objects towards the earth, the lazy who are convinced they are clever will claim she denies the existence of human flight.
So when Palin says to a crowd, "Don't party like it's 1773 yet," of course she must have meant 1776 and is such a phenomenally gaffe-prone dunce that she botched a date almost every grade-schooler knows.
Many a liberal blogger, reporter and pundit took to their Twitter accounts to report and mock the line, failing to recall that something relevant did indeed happen in 1773: the Boston Tea Party. There's plenty more great conservative commentary on this on the web, especially by Michelle Malkin and Neo-Neocon, but I bring this up with reference to (what else) my own life.
Husband came home from work yesterday and said that a co-worker of his (a former co-worker of mine, as well) asked about me and how I was doing, "staying home and all."
I asked, "What'd you tell him?"
"I said you were really enjoying it."
"And he said?"
"He said he didn't believe me."
I know this is only a small conversation, probably said without much thought and with no real significance, but it saddens me to hear about people who believe the media narrative that mothers can't be happy at home.
Now, I said "happy" at home. I didn't say it's a carefree, energetic, walk-in-the-clouds existence. It's a job, and it's my job. And jobs are hard. But the best jobs--all of them--include meaningful work, personal rewards and a sense of accomplishment.
Gloria Feldt, former head of Planned Parenthood, recently had this to say about women choosing to stay home with their children:
They make it harder for the rest of us to remedy the inequities that remain. We have to make young women aware of how their choices affect other women. It should be acceptable criticism to point out that, although everyone has the right to make their own life decisions, choosing to “opt out” reinforces stereotypes about women’s priorities that we’ve been working for decades to shatter, so just cut it out. And, the “individual choice” women have to become stay-at-home moms becomes precarious when they try to return to the workplace and find their earning power and options reduced. If we could see child-rearing as a necessary task and not an identity, and if we could collectively recognize that facilitating it benefits us all, we would go much further in guaranteeing women’s choices than we do when we are expected to uncritically celebrate every individual’s decision.
Ah. Pardon me, Gloria, while I make it "harder" for you and your world of truly misogynistic, misplaced priorities by playing peek-a-boo with my infant.
If having your baby fed, content, changed and sleeping in his own crib at 3:19 on a Wednesday afternoon doesn't make a mother feel happy, I'm not sure what would. Granted, I have other projects built into my day (especially during nap time) that let me focus on writing, designing, and video production. And luckily, some of those projects bring in a very small amount of much-needed income. But still, if I only had the baby, that would be good, too. I would be happy. To Gloria Feldt, the liberal media at large and especially that one co-worker, I say: Believe me.