Good For You, Bristol Palin!

09/06/2010 07:51 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Lord knows when it comes to politics I'm no fan of the Sarah Palin clan, but darn if they don't keep earning my begrudging admiration in some way or another. I admit to having spent more than a few minutes in the past year or so snickering over the ever-juicy developments of the Bristol Palin / Levi Johnston made-for-reality-TV soap opera (Playgirl? An "acting debut" advocating teen abstinence? Who could make this stuff up?!) ... but I'm cheering now for Bristol and her new gig on "Dancing With The Stars."

"I'm not the first mom to participate on "Dancing with the Stars" ... and like those who came before me, I want to set a good example for all of the amazing moms out there," Bristol told "Yes, we can balance work and family, and we can also take on a new and exciting challenge."

Yes, we can! I was appalled by the criticism Kate Gosselin received for appearing on the show, and I'm sure Bristol is going to hear some of the same. And don't even get me started on the notion that she's somehow glamorizing teen pregnancy. What's she supposed to do -- stay home wearing a T-shirt and bare feet, bemoaning the ruination of her young life? No. She's supposed to be doing exactly what she's doing -- making the most of what is a blessing in the end, and making the most of all the opportunities that she gets.

Yeah, yeah, I know -- it's not like Bristol is a poverty-stricken single mother pulling herself and her crack baby up by her bootstraps to cure cancer, but so what? This isn't a tale of miraculously overcoming all odds; it's a tale of a young woman who became a mom by accident and is now embracing her full life. And that is somewhat miraculous by itself, as any woman knows who has struggled post-childbirth to keep her sense of self while taking care of the children she loves. Bristol is both embracing motherhood and staying true to a person who wants to take advantage of all that life has to offer. And that's something that's hard to do no matter what kind of support you have. In Bristol's case, what life has to offer right now is a stint on the same reality dancing show as "The Situation" and "The Hoff." It's not an Ivy League education, but it sure sounds like a blast. reports that Bristol wants to make sure she sets a good example for her son, Tripp, 20 months, who "loves dancing around [and] bopping his head," she says. "I see this as something that's fun and that's positive and I'm going to be able to show my work ethic to people out there."

Bristol, who shares custody of Tripp with Levi, will be taking the baby with her to live in Los Angeles for the duration of the show. Doors are opening for Bristol because of who her mother is, but she's still going to be the one at the end of the day, alone in a new big city, with all of the responsibilities of motherhood. What an example, indeed, to set for her son! And yes, what a great example to be setting for all moms who feel like their dreams -- whatever they may be -- are destined to simmer untended on the back burners of life.

So I say ... Go, Bristol!

(Just stay away from "The Situation!")

Crossposted from