State of the Union State of Mind

My children's handiwork.

My children’s handiwork.

I am too busy enjoying the State of the Union to do any real blogging:

At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years. This is good news, people.

So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way. We can’t slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix. And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it. It will have earned my veto.

                    –President Obama, January 20, 2015

(It's paint). And she's cute.

(It’s paint). And she’s cute.

So, yay, that. I was pleased with a lot of the speech. But one thing that has recently touched my life is the childcare issue. As I alluded to here, I was recently offered a job. A teaching job. Short term, full time. A semester of work at a local high school. I was excited about the idea: a chance to get back in the classroom, to see what it was like to be a working mom. But they were going to pay me less (after taxes) than I would need to pay for childcare. Now I love teaching. Like, I really love it. But not enough to lose money doing it. The kind folks–one of whom I consider a dear friend–who were going to hire me even asked if I would consider doing it at a loss for the experience (of which I feel I already have plenty) or for potential future opportunities (which I’m not actively seeking, and which I think will still be available to me). I said no. I’m not willing to disrupt my family life at a loss. And I think it’s nuts that we’re asking that question. It says a lot about how we value parents, teachers, and women. Now for me, this was a fun idea. A lark, even. But for a lot of folks it’s not. More paid leave and more support for childcare are excellent ideas, both.

More painted face. More cuteness.

More painted face. More cuteness.

There was lots of good stuff in that speech tonight. Let’s see where it goes…

And I’m including cute photos of the kids in case you didn’t feel like more politics.

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