Paul Ryan, family man

Being the lone parent at home isn’t easy, and I wouldn’t begrudge Janna Ryan telling her husband behind the scenes that this just isn’t the right time for a bigger job that would keep him apart from his family even more. It sounds like he would agree, and good for him.

The question is why so many other people seem to have trouble accepting that assessment of the situation. Why do we have so much trouble believing a man would take his family into account when making career decisions? Do we honestly believe that family is only a woman’s issue, or have we settled for the idea that a cracker-jack career is the only route to true success? Is there room for personal happiness in a successful life?

While it may be possible to tweak many jobs to better accommodate family time, it’s not clear that’s realistic with the speakership. Ryan is talented, but he is also still relatively young. He should enjoy this time with his family and plan to accelerate his career when they’re grown.

And we, the American public, should support him. Parenting may not be publicly recognized like a congressional leadership role. As conservatives so often note, however, parenthood is its own valuable form of service, and to Ryan’s family, it is undoubtedly more important.

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