I want to first start off by saying that this blog is NOT meant to bash working mothers. I have the greatest respect for all mothers. We all have our challenges and we are ALL doing the best we can to raise kind, decent, loving, intelligent and thoughtful human beings who will one day eat their vegetables, avoid doing bodily harm to their siblings and listen to us. Hey…dare to dream.
This venom filled blog goes out to those people who still truly believe that stay-at-home moms don’t work. Watch out…I have a lot to say!
Ahhh...there it is again. The classic "Well...stay-at-home moms don't really work" statement. The attached clip shows what Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen thinks of Ann Romney and apparently stay-at-home mothers everywhere.
Let me tell you...when I saw this segment on CNN I wanted to SCREAM and throw large objects at my TV. Hilary Rosen has single-handedly reignited the Mommy Wars with her unjustified swipe at Ann Romney. It goes a little something like this...Hilary very articulately schooled Anderson Cooper about how Mitt Romney is getting his intel on women's economic concerns through his wife Ann Romney. She quickly follows up with the fact that Ann has never even worked. I guess this statement was meant degrade and belittle any of Ann's thoughts on the "true" state of our economy. Ummm...what???
I truly don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, these are some of the most arrogant, elitist and misguided comments I have ever heard on television. While Ms. Rosen spent much of her time at her "REAL" job as a K Street PR guru and lobbyist, Mrs. Romney raised 5 active boys. Ann Romney has also spent many years battling MS and breast cancer. I don’t think she was sitting back enjoying the high life as Ms. Rosen would have you believe. I also thought it was an absolute joke that she gave Ann Romney zero props for holding the position of First Lady of Massachusetts. I am sure there was nothing expected of her in that role. (Ha!) Better tell Michelle Obama to dust off her issue of “Who Moved My Cheese?” as her skills are greatly diminishing with each passing moment that she is NOT working.
The gall of Hilary Rosen and others like her! I for one am sick and tired of defending my choice to stay home. I’ve worked hard all my life – both at home and in the workplace!! I had part-time jobs throughout high school and college. I worked full-time during my summer breaks from college and I started a full-time job about 10 minutes after I received my diploma. I worked long hours for almost 15 years before I got pregnant. My husband and I worked for the same company. We knew the drill; the expectations at work would not change just because we had a new baby. With both of us working 10 hours or more a day and with my aggressive travel schedule, we decided it was time to cut back and make some tough decisions about spending that would allow me to stay home with our first child.
Easy....NO!! I lost my mind more than a few times. I missed my salary, my friends, my freedom, my free time and a host of other things. I made the choice, in large part, because my mother HAD to work after my parents divorced. She was a nurse and my father was in the military. I saw my father, on average, 14 days a year (during a good year). That means that my mother spent much of her day running around a medical surgical floor in a busy hospital with 15+ patients. She came home EXHAUSTED.
My mother also spent every other weekend working. As a result of her work schedule and precious little family support, I spent many weekends at home by myself. I couldn’t join a sport because there was no one there to take me to practice or to weekend games with any regularity. Since my dad was in the military, my mother didn't have a break on alternating weekends. I am sure we both suffered from the experience, but it was life. Motor on...no complaints.
But when it came time to choose whether to stay home or leave a six-figure income, I CHOSE to stay home because I wanted to give my children a gift and an opportunity that I was never given. And in doing so I had to WORK to learn to cook (shout out to Giada) and make cookies (thankfully Pillsbury has some great ones in the refrigerated section). I had to work to figure out how to make every f’en craft project in A.C. Moore. I had to work to find the perfect age-appropriate playgroup for my daughter (even though I much prefer adult happy hours). I had to work to keep my underwear from showing at The Little Gym whilst doing the 25 different infant exercises with my 4-month-old baby. (There has to be an easier way to make mommy friends!) I travelled far and wide to every Walmart in Northern Virginia to get the right ballet outfit, only to have some prima ballerina tell me that because my 2-year-old couldn’t sit perfectly still she had to leave the class. (No sh@t she can’t sit still, she’s two!) I participated in countless Wiggles & Giggles classes and ran after my “spirited” child on a daily basis at the local park. Often times I found myself watching nannies chat as their charge threw sand in my kid’s face. Oh the fanciful moments of being a stay-at-home mom, what a silly little life I lead. Seriously???
For this obnoxious witch Rosen (and by witch I mean something else) to come out and start saying that being a stay-at-home mom is a second rate position in life makes want to explode Mount Vesuvius style!!! The nerve of this woman! It is as if upon deciding that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom I was given a lobotomy and was put in a corner like some medieval wet nurse.
I listen to hours of news updates throughout the day (in the car or at home). I research financial trends. I am fully aware of what is happening in politics. I, not my husband, did the bulk of the work for our recent home re-fi. I pay the bills. I have selected the contractors for all of the work that is done on our home. I picked our replacement windows (a rather large purchase I might add). I researched and converted our existing 529 accounts. I put the mountain of paperwork together for our accountant at tax time. I even keep track of our financial portfolios for God sakes! So to the Hilary Rosen’s of the world, I say SUCK IT! I should probably be more eloquent but at this very moment that is how I feel. Simply…SUCK IT HILARY! You lame ass excuse for a feminist. If you believe in women then you must support all sorts of women, even stay-at-home moms!
In defense of the Obama Administration, David Axelrod (https://twitter.com/#!/davidaxelrod) and Jim Messina were quick to denounce Miss Rosen's comments. Michelle Obama also had a tweet that clearly acknowledged the efforts of all mothers (https://twitter.com/#!/MichelleObama). To some extent, the damage has been done. The sound bite is out there. Ann Romney just opened a Twitter account and was quick to fire back a response both on social media and on Fox News. See below.
In the end, I guess it surprised Hilary just how many stay-at-home moms actually watch the news. Seriously, what the hell was she thinking? She is no better than that jerk you meet at a dinner party or wedding. You know the one, he starts off the conversation by saying so “What do you do?” When you respond that you are a stay-at-home mother he finds some nice words that are the equivalent of patting you on the head and then retreats. I want to ask this douche what the hell is so special about his spreadsheet, his cubicle/office or his commute that makes him so much more interesting than me? I have been there and, frankly, office politics, the monthly balanced scorecard, stewardship meetings, safety updates and YE earnings weren’t really all that riveting. In fact, I found it far easier presenting information to a high-level oil executive than potty-training my daughter…a feat I’m sure he would have found even more daunting.
My parting words, for all those that think staying home to raise a child isn’t important…tune into an episode of “Intervention” on A&E. Parenting isn’t as easy as it looks! There are a lot of different ways this can go and just because I haven’t immersed myself in the “REAL” workforce doesn’t mean that I am not doing “REAL” work!
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