the privileged

In the header above this post it says, “living this circus life what else would I be doing but juggling”. I say that all the time about this life of mine. Of course I am not the only one out there trying to juggle with work, life and family. We all do. Even Paul Ryan struggles with work/life balance.

Yes.

Yes he does.

When tapped for consideration to take on the job that no one seems to want, The Speaker of the House, Mr. Ryan presented a list of conditions. Given that it has become such a thankless job monitoring a legislative body that can’t seem to get anything done that doesn’t involve yet another investigation on Benghazi or Planned Parenthood who could blame the guy? Among other things, as the father of three young children who flies back to Wisconsin from Washington D.C. almost every weekend to be with his family, he made it very clear that he is not willing to accept the expectation of the extra time that he must devote to travel and campaigning for other Republican Party members.

I cannot and I will not give up my family. I may not be on the road as often as previous speakers, but I pledge to make up for it with more time communicating our vision, our message.

Of course he received praise for making such a bold statement as a man in a position of national power because that’s not how it is usually done. Sheryl Sandberg praised him on her Facebook page:

The Lean In Award of the day goes to Paul Ryan, for saying he worries how becoming House Speaker would affect his children, “who are in the formative, foundational years of their lives” – and that he won’t do the job unless he can still make them a top priority.

We need work to work for parents – and having leaders who weigh responsibilities as fathers as much as their responsibilities to their jobs shows all of us what is possible. ‪#‎LeanIn‬

What a guy! Family first.

Except for the facts that are Paul Ryan’s politics. In 2009, Ryan voted against a bill that would have given federal employees four weeks of paid paternity leave. Ryan has also proposed cuts to child care subsidies for poor parents. At the same time, however, he’s often said that more poor people need to be in the workforce and combat what he sees as a “culture problem” where they don’t value work. Ryan’s GOP caucus blocked President Obama’s attempt to mandate paid parental leave in both the public and private sectors here in the US. We’re one of only three countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee new parents paid time off from work to care for their offspring.

What a guy indeed!

If Ryan is tapped for the Speaker’s job, I am sure that he will be able to enjoy the privilege of maintaining a work/life balance that many Americans can not even try to imagine. While he is attending his kids’ school functions or enjoying sporting events with them, many parents will be at work while they balance focus on their job with the guilt that they are missing their kids’ soccer game or not being at home caring for their sick child or anything else that working American parents must juggle while trying to maintain a sense of work/life balance that is nothing like Mr. Ryan’s, Ms Sandberg’s or anyone else in their circles who can make such a bold statement to their employer before they head home early to hang out with the kids.

Sorry Mr. Ryan, you just might be a really awesome husband and father but I can not applaud you; not when millions of working Americans are denied the very privilege you enjoy because of your politics and voting record.

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2 thoughts on “the privileged

  1. I am a frequent reader but haven’t commented in a long time. I can’t help but think, what about our military?! I know it’s not possible to make “family time” a priority for them on the grand scale (deployments, field training exercises, etc.) but an article today made me really wonder who is weighing the cost our Armed Forces and their families are paying. http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-20/generation-military-families-faces-prospects-20-years-deployments My husband has been in the Army for 9+ years, and I am super proud, and am definitely not looking for a pat on the back. But….where are my 4 children’s voices in this call for “family time” before he will serve our nation? My husband has spent 15 months in Afghanistan, 12 months in Iraq, and 12 months in South Korea in area 1 (Mandatory unaccompanied tour, due to the proximity and renewed threat of North Korea) since 2007. And we are lucky for the space between his deployments, compared to some other families I know! There is a lot of lip service paid to our military, but not a whole lot of action following!

    Anyhow, thank you for your blog, and thanks in advance for the chance to vent! So much of what you write resonates deeply with me!

    • Hi Bailey! First of all, thank you reading and thank you for your comment. Second of all, thank you to your husband for his service and to your family.
      You have made some very excellent points here. Families like yours make so many sacrifices and give up so much civilian families, like mine, can’t even begin to understand. Families like yours absolutely deserve more consideration most certainly more than the more privileged. Our leaders, like Mr. Ryan really need to realize who it is they serve and that they should be given access to the possibility of the privileges they enjoy without so much as a bat of an eye.

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