My mother finally got her chance to be a stay-at-home mom... at age 65. As a single Mother with 5 kids she didn't have a 'choice' of staying home and raising her kids... she HAD to work to put food on our table, clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads. My mom worked two jobs, riding the bus ever yday to clean homes in one of the richest parts of town to put me and my brothers and sisters through school and me through college. While we lived in a two-bedroom apartment in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Dallas, I don't ever recall anything that I wanted that she didn't work hard to give me. And regardless of our economic circumstances, the values were always there. We HAD to do our homework before watching television, we HAD to go to church on Sundays, we HAD to be in the house before the sun went down and we HAD to eat out vegetables at dinner. (I still hate beets!) My mom wasn't a working mom or a stay-at-home mom... she was just a MOM!
While Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney not working "a day in her life" might have been ill-advised (and very ill-timed if you're a Democrat), the underlying premise of her remarks is that at least Ann Romney had that choice! Most women simply don't have a choice of being a "working mom" or a "stay-at-home mom" -- they're just busy trying to be a mom. Their circumstances do not allow them the luxury of deciding whether or not they are going to work... they simply HAVE to work.
This controversy has predictably started a Republican outcry touting the power of the "stay-at-home moms." I'm sure that many mothers would LOVE to be stay-at home moms and to those who can, I say more power to you; but let's not forget that many women simply do not have that luxury. Like a marriage, many women have to work for better, for worse -- for richer, for poorer -- through sickness and health, till death they do part. Those women are called the "working moms"!
I don't know Ann Romney but she seems like a lovely woman. But with all due respect, for Ann Romney to attempt to act like she has the faintest idea of what women like my mom had to go through is ludicrous and for Mitt Romney to throw this dog and pony show by dragging his wife out on the campaign trail with the promise that his wife can "tell him what women today are going through" is even worse. I don't begrudge Ann Romney for her wealth or for being a stay-at-home mom. What I do not like is someone worth over $20 million dollars telling me that they know what I go through and what's even more insane is that the policies that Mitt Romney is promising to enact should he win the presidency would make life even harder for women like my mother and even better for women like Ann Romney.
My mom is now 78 years-old with diabetes and showing early stages of Alzheimer's, but she's still going strong... and even though all of her children are grown and have left home, she is still a "stay-at-home mom." My only wish is that she could have had that choice earlier in her life when it would have mattered and when she could have truly enjoyed it!
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