I try very hard to steer clear of political issues on my blog. Not because politics doesn't interest me, it does. In fact, I actually minored in political science at WCU before changing schools and my major. However, my zeal for a life in politics has waned. This blog's focus is on family and the life journey we are on.But that is neither here nor there. This post isn't about politics per se, but the post was inspired by the debate sparked by a Democratic strategist by the name of Hilary Rosen.
Hilary Rosen was on Anderson Cooper's show and said the following "His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen told Anderson Cooper. “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we — why we worry about their future.”
This statement has nothing to do with the current political race and more to do with the assumption that because a woman chooses to stay home and raise her children she knows nothing about the outside world. When I heard this I could only ask myself "Why do women feel the need to tear down other women?"
Ann Romney is not clueless simply because she is a mother who stayed at home. From my research on Ann Romney it appears she is quite well educated and well spoken.She attended Brigham Young university and received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She also continues to live a full and active life raising her boys even after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Furthermore, for Ms. Rosen to contend that Ann Romney has "never worked a day in her life" one can conclude that Ms. Rosen is unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations of raising one child, let alone five. So for anyone who thinks staying at home and raising children is "easy" or makes us, as stay at home moms "lazy" or "uneducated" let me dispel that line of thinking. Staying home and raising a child is the hardest thing in the world. I taught in the elementary school system for over ten years, had classes with 30+ students and I never worked as hard as I do now staying home with my daughter. There are no breaks, there is no lunch hour, there are no days off, no half days, no vacation, and there is no clocking out, because as a stay at home mother my job is NEVER done.
Let me tell you something, Ms. Rosen-- I worry everyday how I am going to feed my child, where I will send her to school, and what her future will be like. Just because I chose to stay at home does not make me an imbecile. I, not only, hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, I also hold an MBA (that would be a Masters in Business Administration). I understand the economic issues of the day even if I am not currently in the workforce. I am well versed on what is happening in this country. See, Ms. Rosen when you attacked Mrs. Romney and said those things about her, it is like you were saying it about all stay at home mothers because we made the choice not to go back to work after having our children. Your theory seems to be that because someone does not work they don't understand life. It seems to me Ms. Rosen, you are the one who doesn't understand life.
Staying at home is not a choice for everyone. I know plenty of mothers who make the choice to go back to work after having their child. That is a wonderful and noble choice. But it was not my choice. I would rather go without some luxuries or fancy vacations or new clothes for awhile and stay home with my little girl. But that is my choice. It doesn't mean it is the right choice for every woman who has a child. I would never expect it to be.
However, the tone of Ms. Rosen's argument on Anderson Cooper's show is that somehow being a stay at home mother makes Ann Romney someone who should not be taken seriously when she speaks. I find it insulting for someone to assume that because I am staying home with my child I can longer hold an intelligent conversation on the issues. Believe me when I say I can and will debate anyone on any number of subjects that pertain to today's issues and I will do it intelligently. I am not a moron because I choose to stay home with my child.
I can not speak for all mothers who stay at home, and honestly I am not trying to. It was just so disheartening when I read this story that a woman would go on the attack against another woman just because that woman chose to stay home. I am not saying Ms. Rosen is a bad person, but her comments were hurtful not just to Ann Romney but to me as well. Those words felt very much like an attack on the choice to stay home. In this day and age, I don't think I should have to defend my choice to stay home and raise my daughter. But if I need to then so be it.
I don't know what Ann Romney or any other stay at home mothers' reason would be to make the choice to not work but I can tell you my reason. When I was 33 years old I was told by my doctors that it would be nearly impossible for me to conceive a child due to my numerous and extremely serious health issues at the time. So, when I finally did get healthy and was miraculously able to conceive and carry a baby to term I knew I could not just go back to work. This time at home is a gift. I am able to be here for every tear but also for every giggle. I work harder now than I ever did. I am in a state of constant exhaustion. But I love every minute of it. I am here to see all of my daughter's little "firsts", from her first belly laugh to her first time sitting up. I am here. For me, that is more important than any career move could be right now. But don't be fooled--I WORK my butt off everyday taking care of my bundle of joy. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
It is my hope that as women, we can respect each others choices and support each other not tear each other down or try to one up each other on accomplishments. So in that vein, I leave you with the following to ponder:
"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love." -- Mildred B. Vermont
"Though motherhood is the most important of all the professions -- requiring more knowledge than any other department in human affairs -- there was no attention given to preparation for this office." -- Elizabeth Cady Stanton