Saturday, April 14, 2012

choosing to be a stay-at-home mom

I find myself dwelling on Ann Romney and Hillary Rosen's little kerfluffle. Rosen's comment that Romney "has actually never worked a day in her life" was extremely awkward, since that particular way of saying that a woman has chosen to stay at home with her children rather than seek paid employment has been avoided like the plague for decades. What was she thinking?

On the other hand, Rosen went on to say Romney has
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 that point Rosen is spot on. Romney has been able to be a stay-at-home mom because she wanted to be, with multiple properties, all the advantages that kajillions of dollars provides, staff to help her run her domestic empire...

I think about the women I've known who wanted to be stay-at-home moms but couldn't afford it. I think about the women I've known who didn't want to be stay-at-home moms but had to wait to go back to work until their kids were in school because they couldn't afford daycare.

I wonder about the wives of the men laid off during Mitt Romney's rise to riches, and I wonder how many of them were stay-at-home moms who had to go "back to work" afterwards.

I'm irritated at Rosen for making such a stupid gaffe. I'm irritated at Romney for seeming to think that her ability to "choose" is just like that of every woman with children. I'm irritated at Romney for championing "choice" when it's her choice but not so much otherwise.

I was a stay-at-home mom. Just like her? I don't think so.

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