Blogs, Balancing Home and Career: Can we have it all?

by SHERRY GABA - Date: 2008-09-11 - Word Count: 711 Share This!

I have been doing my own juggling act in my mind with the buzz about our new vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. On the one hand, I am thrilled that perhaps once and for all women will finally shatter the glass ceiling with a woman on the ticket. On the other hand, I am asking myself questions like "Can we really have it all?" "Can a mother have one of the highest posts in the nation and not feel guilty?" And again, "Why hasn't Barak Obama been held up to the same scrutiny and judgment as Sarah Palin?", "Why aren't working fathers ever judged?" "Should a woman go back to work four days after a special needs child is born as Palin did?" and "If we have the choice to be available for our children as mothers should we opt not to be there because of our careers?" I didn't have that choice. I became a single parent when my daughter was one years old. Twenty-three years ago there weren't a lot of day care options, and if the truth be known, nothing has really changed? Our country still needs more on-site childcare, understanding bosses, and more flexible options for working parents. In addition, the economy and the downsizing of corporate America are forcing more women to enter the job market without the skills to tackle the increase in technology and in addition, less jobs to apply for. There hasn't been this many job cuts in 2008 since the year 2002. These are huge issues and parents need I remember back in the 90's when Dan Quayle espoused that single parenting went against sound family values. He referred to the sitcom character Murphy Brown who became a single parent by choice along with having a very high powered job. The question became what and who suffers in a situation like this? Should we be asking the same question of Sarah Palin who isn't a single parent but is a parent of five children along with a special needs child. In addition, what about her seventeen year old daughter who is pregnant and could very well become a single parent if her future marriage doesn't work out? Of course, this is quite possible when you look at the statistics of young marriages ending in divorce. And who will pay for this child's daycare or will her child be one of the privileged ones who will have financial support from grandparents? The answer is most likely yes. Sarah Palin will be able to afford the best help to take care of her child with down syndrome and if her grandchild needs day care you can be sure either her daughter will have the luxury to stay home with her child or the best will be hired. Folks, this is not the real world. The real world is when I dropped my child off on Monday mornings at the daycare and finding a house filled with runny nosed children running around and hoping my child wouldn't get sick. Or going to the bus stop to pick up the housekeeper who took care of my daughter when day care no longer worked and praying she would be at the bus stop. These were my realities and things really haven't changed for today's single parents or married working parents. How children are cared for, nurtured and raised is one of the most important issues with regards to growing up and becoming loving, caring, and stable adults who can carry on healthy relationships themselves. If these needs are not met early on attachment issues, separation anxiety, lack of social skills, and an inability to be intimate will be the problems they face as adults. Now is the time for solutions and although the politicians are talking a lot about change, let's see some real changes in the way our society takes care of our most precious assets....our children. Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Psychotherapist and Life Coach specializes in addictions, single parenting, divorce, anxiety, depression, and finding your life purpose. She is a regular guest on Dr. Drew Live radio on KGIL 12.60 and is the life coach for the celebrities of Celebrity Rehab 2 this fall on VH1. She can be reached at or

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