Because I Want To See A Bit of Me In That White House, Too

I’m sitting in my hotel room in Vegas watching Senator Barack Obama speak from Coral Gables, Florida. It’s a women’s rally and he’s talking a lot about his wife, Michelle.

“…if she’s at work she’s thinking about the kids, if she’s with the kids she’s thinking about work…”

Apparently what Michelle Obama goes through is exactly what I go through.

Now, I have no way of knowing if Cindy McCain has these issues…but you certainly don’t hear the Senator or Cindy discussing it. I have no doubt it’s because they have no clue what the average person goes through on a daily basis…but I digress…

In order for me to attend the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, my in-laws had to come to town to watch the kids. In order for me to attend the BlogHer conference, my parents came into town. In order for me to be here in Las Vegas at Blog World Expo, I had to make arrangements with my girlfriends to pick up the kids from school and for Dad to get them after work.

Then there was the making sure all their picture day forms were filled out in advance, their clothes ready for Saturday activities like ballet. My daughter has a runny nose and I fretted the whole way to the airport, wondering what would happen to my husband’s job if he had to stay home with her. If I would just cancel and fly home…

I sit here now wondering if my 5-year old had cafeteria lunch again today and if he’ll go to bed on time tonight. If my 3-year old has enough tissue in her backpack…and so on and so forth.

But mind you, if I were home, I’d be thinking about what sort of speaking gig I was missing in Vegas, if something could have been accomplished or some deal not done because I wasn’t there.

It never ends, this push and pull. And Senator Obama, speaking today of his wife, reminded me I’m not alone. I’m not the only mom who goes through this and I am not the only woman who struggles to balance.

Maybe it’s naive of me to want a First Lady who I think reflects my life a bit. Who talks about her goals and her girls. Maybe it’s a very small thing in this grand election with so many issues and twists. However that mindset…that reflection I see…is exactly what turns into Senator Obama’s plans and policy. His blueprint for change has more women focused and family focused initiatives and plans than I’ve ever seen in a campaign.

So while I ready myself to head to yet another convention center, worrying about my son and wondering if he turned in his homework…I will know I’m not alone.

Thanks Michelle. And thank you Senator, for sharing that part of your lives.


  1. Amen to that….they’re very real….and that’s just what we need right now.

  2. That’s all fine and dandy and I do think the Obamas are more intune to Mr. & Mrs Average American then the McCains,but after seeing their tax returns, I have to wonder if either REALLY knows middle America anymore. Sure Michelle has the same thoughts and concerns about her children as you, but she doesn’t have the same problems. Far from it. Trust me the Obamas don’t have to juggle childcare issues with a patchwork of family members. One thing is for sure,if this economy keeps heading south, both candidates will be just fine financially.

  3. I so agree with your post. I saw Michelle Obama yesterday and she said the same thing about herself. I think it is awesome that a future first lady has no qualms speaking about her motherhood and working self.


  4. I totally get what you mean. Unfortunately, women in the workforce have been taught not to show emotion or any sort of weakness – and sadly, family is a sign of weakness. It’s gotten better since my days of a 26 year old mother who managed a division of a major company – (God forbid I ever took time to be with Dylan for any reason), but maybe I’m naive because I call my own shots now.
    You’re right – Michelle Obama seems so much more human than Cindy McCain. I just wish I got a vote! 🙂

  5. I can appreciate what you are saying. I do know Sen and Cindy McCain have spoken about things similar to what you are saying. I think you do not hear as much about it from them because their children are older. The youngest McCain child is 18 I believe what the youngest Obama child is 7. (I’m going of the years, I don’t know exact birth dates.) But I do think that is part of the energy Gov Palin brings to the Republican ticket. She is obviously going through a lot of the same family experiences.

  6. I do think the Obama’s are a bit more like me. Durig the DNC convention it was mentioned that the only way Michelle would travel was if a family member was with her girls. I think it was her mom who stayed with them. It may be my own bias but Cindy McCain looks plastic to me. I am not a Gov. Palin fan either. She just reminds me of Karen from “Will and Grace.” Thank you for putting into words and clarifying the jumbled thoughts I have been trying to sort out.

  7. Some of the comments above seem correct — that neither candidate is going to hurt financially despite the outcome of the election and that the McCain’s don’t speak is much about their current experiences perhaps because their kids are older now. What those things don’t change for me is that I do want someone that relates (in some way) to what our family is going through. Maybe it’s naive of me, but it’s because I think family issues may be more of a priority for someone directly “in the frying pan”. Yes, that’s selfish. But that’s why it’s my vote and why everyone else gets their own.

  8. I agree. I see much of myself in Michelle and I hope that other women do too.

  9. Erin,
    I’m sitting across from you right now, and I’d shout my comment, except that you’re being interviewed or something. So here’s what I’d say if I wasn’t so well-mannered: I agree with you about Obama in that he definitely gets my vote, but I feel very wary of this need to identify personally with the candidate. It seems to me that that’s how we got George (Great Guy to Have a Beer With) Bush.

  10. Laurie (your homie) says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever even heard the McCain’s discussing their kids (no more than a fleeting, occasional reference), or have seen them in public appearances. I don’t care how old they are, that’s just weird.

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