I have read with interest the reception that Sarah Palin has received in the media and particularly in the Christian media and blogs. I’ve seen a few bloggers frustrated because they believe her ambition may supercede her responsibility to her family. But interestingly, most of the backlash has come from liberal bloggers who seem frustrated that all conservatives aren’t so easily pigeon-holed as “women should stay home and stay out of leadership” types.

It does present a dilemma. I definitely think a woman’s first priority should be a family (if she has one) but I also know many women capable of running circles around me in managing both their homes and families and having outside interests and obligations. The Proverbs 31 woman had a whole lot going on and comes off sounding like quite an ambitious woman if you ask me.

Sarah’s unique situation probably affords her a housekeeper and probably a nanny that can help with her youngest son Tryg. And before getting all judgmental about leaving a baby with Down’s Syndrome, she probably was able to have him at arm’s length in her work in the Governor’s Office. I imagine it will get trickier in the Old Executive Office Building (the VPs offices), but my guess is her son will have more access to her than the majority of working moms who have to drop a child off at daycare for 9-10 hours a day.

As for her daughter Bristol, who can judge? I know many a child of two upstanding committed parents (and stay-at-home moms) who has become pregnant out of wedlock. Teenagers typically have minds of their own. Her parents can be commended for not shuffling her off to a confidential abortion (at least their second demonstration of a commitment to life) in order to protect her mother’s career.

It will be hard for a 17-year old senior to raise a baby in Wasilla, Alaska with her mom clear across the country in Washington D.C. But many a young woman has had the same challenge, though for different reasons. Could it be that Sarah Palin has released her daughter to live with the adult consequences of the decision she has made? Or is she simply putting her ambition first? Or, like other great Americans male and female, is she putting her country first?