Working Mom Special Report
November 2008
NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
     
Sarah Palin, President, Vice President

Position includes a large house for living and/or working from home. (Kitchen staff, housekeeping and security staff are included.) For travel by air, there are two custom-built Boeing 747 aircrafts. For ground travel, the position includes the use of a driver and a modified Cadillac DTS.

Flexible Hours. The ability to work well with others, and make decisions under high pressure in stressful, potentially volatile situations is a must. Prior experience in similar jobs is preferred but not necessarily required.

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There are plenty of working moms that would jump at the chance to get a job like that. Oddly enough, there's actually a working mom currently interviewing for it.

Sarah Palin!

I can’t be the only one who was surprised by all the press on whether or not a mom with five kids could possibly handle the job of Vice President or ultimately President of the United States while raising kids.

Running the United States of America is a certainly a tough, tough job. It’s arguably one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. Being a mom to five children is also a demanding job - in and of itself. However as a working mother with five kids myself; I’ve noticed there are some important facets to this debate that have been overlooked. I’ll spell it out with a typical work day:

PRESIDENTIAL DAY
5 am
President receives her morning wake up call from the White House operator.

5:10 am
Fitness

She enters the state of the art exercise room and works out with a personal trainer while being briefed on noteworthy events and going over the day’s schedule. This exercise routine was specially created to maintain her optimal health, fitness and stamina. (Imagine that!)

5:45 am
Getting Ready
The President enters her immaculately (cleaned-by-housekeeping) dressing room to get ready for the day. Her outfit has been pre-selected by top image consultants, is perfectly pressed, laid out and ready for her to put on -along with the matching accessories. As usual, the suit fits perfectly, and conveys the perfect balance of power and approachability for maximum Presidential impact -taking into account the events on the day’s schedule. (Sure beats my typical frantic search for whatever I can find in my closet that's clean, fits, and is relatively unwrinkled!)

6:30 am
Kids
Madame President awakens each of her children and helps the little ones get ready for school. Naturally, the housekeeping staff will be taking care of straightening up the second floor residence, making the beds and attending to the laundry that a family of seven creates. (Daily housekeeping is a perk that has been provided for every other US President.) Thanks to professional organizers and the housekeeping staff, there’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place. Getting kids ready in the morning is a snap. (The exact opposite of what it is for the rest of us working moms.)

7:00 am
Breakfast
Madame President and family enter the private dining room to have the most important meal of the day together. Of course the White House kitchen staff has prepared it, did the grocery shopping, and even packed school lunches for the kids. Staff sets the table, serves the meal, cleans up spills and will later clear the table, wash the dishes, dry them and put them away after the family is done. Someone other than the President herself will sweep, mop dust and vacuum the floors. (They even do windows.)

No President in U.S. history has ever had to block off time in his schedule so he could fire up the John Deere to mow the White House lawn! Cleaning up and maintaining the grounds of the White House is simply not something a President does. Consequently, Madame President just sits down at the table, eats a gourmet meal, enjoys conversation with her family and gets up to leave when she’s done. With nary a thought as to who will clean up the mess (This job is starting to sound better and better all the time…)

7:30 am
Off to School - Off to Work
Madame President sends the kids off to school with hugs and maternal encouragement. Unlike most working moms, a missed school bus or a problem with the carpool won’t end up making her late for work. The Secret Service makes it their mission to ensure that the first kids arrive at school and get back every day. There’s no doubt that they will be safe, secure and on-time. (What a perk!)

7:35 am
Oval Office
Madame President walks down the stairs, enters the Oval Office and gets to work. No rush hour traffic, no commute. And as a safeguard against all the things that could potentially disrupt her planned workday, there are layers upon layers of staffers that screen everything that gets brought to her attention. With an entire team dedicated to weeding through her calls, reading and responding to email, answering letters, faxes, scheduling meetings, attending to travel arrangements, while keeping office interruptions at a minimum, Madame President is more likely than anyone else to get through her “To Do List” on any given day. (Allowing for the kind of productivity that mere mortals can only dream of.)

3:00 pm
VIP Appointment
Madame President’s schedule includes a standing 3:00 appointment whenever she’s in residence at the White House. Her assistant maintains a break in her schedule so she can be home waiting with a snack to reconnect with the kids after school. (Naturally the snack is prepared by the kitchen staff and is always on time.) Then her husband, the “First Dude” takes over helping the kids with their homework, book reports and projects.

3:45
Back to work, work, work, back to meetings, meetings, meetings, and yada, yada yada… With break time over, Madame Mommy President gets back to work. She’ll be down the stairs –third door on the left in the oval-shaped office.

6:00 pm
Dinner
As usual, the White House kitchen staff has shopped for it, cooked it, will serve it, and clean up after it. Barring a national emergency, after a hard day's work, Madame President will typically enjoy a gourmet, leisurely dinner with the family.

7:00 pm
Bath/Bedtime
Soaps, shampoos, towels, bath toys, combs, pajamas and the kids' favorite storybooks are all laid out, ready and waiting thanks to the crackerjack housekeeping staff. Madame President needs only concern herself with attending to the children instead of all the minutia of prep and cleanup that other moms would have to do to get kids dressed and ready for bed.

8:00 pm
More Work
With the kids down for the night, Madame President finishes up the remaining day’s work.

10:00 pm
The President retires to the 2nd Floor residence for the evening. There are no piles of laundry waiting for her to wash, no kitchen to clean up, no lunches to prepare, nor any of the other things that consume so much time and energy for the average mom after a full days work. (This job really doesn’t sound too bad you know…)

All kidding aside though, being President of the United States automatically provides the kind support system that maximizes productivity at work, while allowing for time to interact with and enjoy a family. By eliminating the commuting, driving around, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry, that most of us do every day, countless hours are opened up to effectively pour oneself into doing the job and cultivating strong family relationships.

But for the rest of us, somebody’s got to handle the shopping, cleaning, carpooling, laundry and cooking. And when you’re the mom, it’s probably going to be you - no matter how hard you work at your day job. Like it or not, most of us have to make the time and devote at least some energy towards getting it all done.

However for the President, even work/life family conflicts are effectively mitigated by the perks. If one of the President’s kids were to get sick, I dare say Dr. Spock himself could probably be persuaded to make a house call to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. (Has any U.S. President ever had to call for a motorcade in the middle of the night so they could schlep to the ER for their kid’s tummy ache or an ear infection?) In fact, the whole, “What if one of the kids needs her and there’s a national crisis at the same time” question applies to any President with children or grandchildren.

Essentially, the point of this article is simply to bring to light the fact that the domestic help, the company cars, drivers, personal assistants and the office staff that come along with the office of the Presidency merit consideration as an important factor. It cannot be overlooked when discussing how anyone, particularly a mom with five kids, could possibly handle such a demanding job while raising children at the same time. All the help withstanding, there’s no denying that the job description of President of the United States is still stressful and difficult. But let’s not make the mistake of ignoring the perks and benefits that are in place that make it more doable.

In conclusion, if I’ve given the impression that I think it would be a piece of cake for a mom with five children to run the country, think again. Realistically, it’ isn’t a “piece of cake” for anybody to run the United States! But when contrasted with the things ordinary working moms tackle on a daily basis, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the advantages and perks seem to more than make up for the demands of the job of President of the United States.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with me…Feel free to leave comments on my blog: http://www.sabrinaomalone.com


Sabrina O'Malone




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