By Heidi Stevens
My first day back at work after my first maternity leave, our administrative assistant asked who was watching my daughter.
When I explained about the delightful day-care provider I had met and hired a few weeks back, she reacted in horror.
“Why doesn’t your mom watch her?” she demanded.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asks why my mom doesn’t watch my two kids, while I work, while I take a quiet, kids-free vacation with my husband, while I attend a Pilates class, well, I’d have enough dollars to take a quiet, kids-free vacation with my husband. And a Pilates class.
No one has ever asked why my dad doesn’t watch them. Not one single time.
I assume people figure he’s busy golfing or sport fishing, or that he just isn’t interested in spending his golden years caring for children.
Grandmas, on the other hand … they live for grandchildren, right? They’ve been quietly (or not so quietly) waiting on the sidelines for more children to appear, ever since theirs grew too old to rear. Time is heavy on their hands. Plus they bake a lot of cookies, which kids love.
This is mostly nonsense, of course. We all know grandmas who run marathons and scale literal mountains and have social calendars that rival Princess Kate’s, with little to no room carved out for baby-sitting.
But the stereotype clings hard.
A Hillary Clinton presidency might change all that.
Imagine a grandma in the White House. (As president, that is. I realize First Lady Michelle Obama’s mother lives at the White House already.)
Imagine a daily, world-famous, unmatched-in-her-power reminder that grandmas are not here for our bemused enjoyment, people. That grandmas have brains and brawn and wisdom and ideas.
That grandmas know a thing or two about how the world works, and I don’t just mean from their perch in the kitchen.