This Presidential and Vice-Presidential election highlights the important contributions made by women in our society – be they single or married, mothers or not, young or old, rich or poor, from big cities or small towns, in high-powered careers or down-to-earth jobs. The women in this election season are as exciting and controversial as any men candidates have been in the past or are today. Yesterday we focused on 44-year old Governor Sarah Palin, the VP candidate herself, who has been balancing a political career with motherhood for the past 16 years. The mother of five, her candidacy brings to the forefront the continuing struggles of women balancing career and family.

Jill Biden, the 57-year old wife of Vice-Presidential nominee Senator Joe Biden has pursued a career as an educator while mothering their three children. Marrying Senator Biden when his sons were only 6 and 7, she traded her job as a teacher for full-time mothering, adding a daughter together. Later she was back in the classroom as a teacher and reading specialist while studying herself to earn two master’s degrees, one in English, the other in Reading. Later Jill added her Ph.D. degree in Education and, for the past 15 years, has been teaching at a technical college. With the current focus of all the candidates on education, her experiences in the classroom are a unique asset.

What do you think you can learn from these successful women to guide you as you face your own endless lists and tough choices every day? Like them, you too may be torn between the needs of children and a demanding career. While not in the spotlight, your efforts are just as complicated as you forge ahead.

Each of you may choose to handle your dilemma in different ways, but undoubtedly support from friends and family can play a significant role in the success of your balancing act. It’s nice to have someone to lean on when you feel like you are stretched beyond your limit, about to topple off your perch. So reach out and ask for what you need – it may not be a vote in the booth on election day but instead a vote of confidence!

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