April 13, 2012

For Those of Us Who "Don't Work"

Apparently, the latest effrontery in the completely manufactured "War on Women" comes directly from the Democratic machine itself via the mouthpiece of Hilary Rosen, a liberal talking head on CNN, who astonishingly remarked this week that Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and stay-at-home mother of their five boys, "has actually never worked a day in her life."

Let me repeat that:  a stay-at-home mother of five boys "has actually never worked a day in her life."

Really?  I mean, really!?

I find three things interesting here.  Because Ann Romney chose as her full time job the job of raising her own children:

1).  She is not entitled to have a respected opinion of the economy.

2).  She "has never actually worked."

3).  She has caused a media firestorm regarding our society's general estimation of stay-at-home moms.

First, for context, here is Ms. Rosen's complete quote on CNN on Wednesday, April 11th, regarding Mrs. Romney:

“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country, saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.' Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. 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 why do we worry about their future.”

On the face of this, it would seem Ms. Rosen believes that, as a stay-at-home mother, Ann Romney either is too oblivious or too simple-minded (or both) to comprehend economic issues.  (Plus she's heartless, since she couldn't care less about her children's feeding, schooling, or future the way mothers who work outside the home do.)

That's ridiculous.  Any woman alive who has bills to pay and dependent mouths to feed has a first-hand understanding and concern of the most basic economic issues regarding the elemental survival of her children.

However, despite her "poorly chosen words" (as Ms. Rosen later stated), I think the primary intended purpose of her remarks was to impugn Ann Romney's personal financial stability and supposed lack of first-hand knowledge of economic sacrifice, given the relative comfort of her lifestyle, thanks to her husband's financial success in business.

(Oh wait!  Wouldn't it be great to have someone who's a successful business man run our country, instead of someone who's never even been CEO of a lemonade stand run our economy into the ground?  I mean, that's what many of our founding fathers were, right?  Successful career men, not career politicians?  But, I digress.)

Ms. Rosen intimates that Mrs. Romney can't possibly understand the financial suffering of ordinary women who must work outside the home and who therefore, in the words of Barack Obama, don't have the "luxury" of staying at home with their children.  Now, I don't know the Romneys' personal financial situation when their five boys were born, but I do know simple math, and I know that being a stay-at-home mom adds exactly zero dollars to the family bank account.

Having been someone who runs the economy of her own home, whether meager or wealthy, Mrs. Romney, therefore, I think, is entitled to have an opinion of our country's economy, to which her husband has contributed by his successful business endeavors.  Without her support of their family on the home front (and believe me, in the most military sense of the word, a house full of boys aptly can be described as a "front"), Mitt Romney by his own admission never would have been able to accomplish all that he has.

Unfortunately, however, the even greater disparaging opinion expressed by Ms. Rosen and many liberal pundits is that women who stay home to raise their own children don't "work".

This is what's caused the verbal firestorm.

For some reason, if I were a full time nanny or I ran an exclusive private daycare center in my home, I would be considered "working."  But, because I perform the exact same services (and more!) for six children whom I personally helped God create, I don't "work." Clearly, I am sitting home with my feet up all day, eating bon-bons, reading magazines, and having my nails done while the children raise themselves.

Would you excuse me, please, while I ring for my cabana boy?

Look, I'm not saying everyone thinks this way about stay-at-home moms, but as a stay-at-home mom myself, as well as one who homeschools (*gasp!* and recoil!), I've fielded enough snide remarks and superior looks to guess that liberals in general do respect the "choices" of women, as long as they are not traditional, conservative choices.  To liberal pundits, my choice to stay home clearly indicates that I am a slothful, inept, ignorant, subjugated dullard, capable only of the menial tasks of wiping noses and arses, in a secretly concerted, subversive effort by conservative men and unenlightened women to roll back the progress of women 100 years.

Well, we're not.  And I'm tired of being told that I am.

I respect the choice of women and mothers who need or decide to work outside the home.  I've never thought nor made a single disparaging remark to or about any of my friends who choose to or must do so.  Each of us women makes very difficult and often life-changing decisions in the best interests of our own family.

However, I've found that while liberal pundits love to expound sympathetically (and at length) on their own magnanimity in considering a wide variety of valid choices by women in different family situations, their oft implied assertion is that because I am not gainfully employed outside the home and do not pay someone else to raise my children each day, I must be living in unwitting luxury and am not "struggling," "juggling," nor "sacrificing" for my family.


Believe me, we're in no position of financial "luxury" to enable me to stay home to raise and educate our children.  Freedom's not free and neither is homeschooling.  However, my husband and I have chosen to make certain sacrifices in order to do this together.  It is the right choice for our family.

Ann Romney's personal sacrifices for her family -- whether economic or otherwise -- should be just that, personal.  Her contribution as a mother to her family might differ from that of her counterparts who work outside the home, but no thoughtful choice of a woman's or mother's role should be diminished because of our society's errant definition of what it means to be a wholly successful "working mom."

Why must I strive to serve two masters both in and out of the home in order to be considered a "modern working mother," wholly fulfilling her many gifts and callings?  Barack Obama even stated that his wife, Michelle, mother to their two daughters, felt guilty on both ends when she was employed outside the home, fully satisfying neither her role of employee nor mother.

How is that successful?

In a previous life, B.C. (Before Children), I was employed outside the home.  I could visit the bathroom alone, eat lunch in one sitting, and get a shower.  Every day!  And if pay grades and promotions were any measure, I was good at my job.  But you know what?  There were at least a hundred other people on Earth who could do my job, too, just as well, if not better.

There is only one person on Earth who can be my kids' mom.


And lemme tell ya, it's work.  Hard work.

As Ann Romney stated in her first Tweet ever:  “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

Strategically, the Romney campaign immediately shot out a fundraising e-mail in response to this firestorm, entitled “War on Moms,” which partially stated that, "if you're a stay-at-home mom, the Democrats have a message for you: You've never worked a day in your life."

I impugn neither the "work" nor the maternity of mothers who do or don't work outside the home.  I'd appreciate it if liberals like Ms. Rosen would return that courtesy and truly extend the respect they claim to have for the achievements of women to all women, even those with differing political or cultural opinions and lifestyle choices.

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