Thanks to Cathy for inspiring this post.
Only Son is 29 today. When he was born, I was at a time in my life when frankly, I could not afford to raise a child without going back to work. I had just finished LPN school and Only Son's father worked part time at a grocery store. There was absolutely no money to spare before our child's birth, and certainly none afterward.
Of course I wanted to stay home and get to know my son. I did not have that choice. We stuck it out for less than a month, then I went back to work, full time. I hated that I had to do that but we could not pay our bills otherwise. Our mortgage was less than $200 a month so it wasn't like we were living high on the hog. I remember I lost a $20 bill and we had to do without food that week as that $20 was earmarked for food.
As much as Only Son and I love each other, there always has been a distance between us that we both acknowledge and despise, but is there. I wonder if losing some of that bonding time attributed to that distance. One has to do, though, what one must at the time. We needed to eat. So I went to work.
(That was part of the reason Only Son is an Only Son. I swore I'd never have another child unless I could afford to stay home and raise that child myself. That never happened.)
So excuse me if I'm not impressed by Sarah Palin's decision to go back to work when her special needs child was 3 days old. I know she felt she owed it to the people of AK to be their governor, etc, but some things are just not worth it. And now this, chasing after the Holy Grail of VP of the US.
Simply put, there is just some work that is only yours to do. Raising a child you chose to have is one of those, at least taking the time to get to know that child. I think Sarah had the choice of taking at least six weeks to do just that. Many of us did and do not. It is a pity that the party for which she stands advances policies that will force many women into other work besides the work that is theirs to do before they are ready.