Do stay-at-home moms really "WORK"?
I joined Fox & Friends this morning to discuss a democratic strategist's recent comments about Ann Romney. Hilary Rosen suggested it was ridiculous for Ann to advise her husband on the economic plight of women since she's never "worked a day in her life." Rosen followed up her comments with an article on HuffPo defending herself (read: only making it worse) and then released a tepid apology saying she was sorry "if I offended anyone."
Whether Rosen admits it or not, she definitively participated in the Mommy Wars by suggesting that the work of an at-home mom isn't REAL work. By saying that Ann Romney hasn't worked a day in her life, Rosen disparages all stay-at-home moms and mocks our life experience as not having any valuable application in the real world.
Look, I'm not even sure I'll be voting for Mitt Romney in November--frankly, I think President Obama has done a decent job given the nasty situation he received upon entering office--but I sure don't begrudge Mitt from seeking his wife's counsel. She has valuable advice! She's raised 5 successful children!
Just because she hasn't struggled financially doesn't mean she's clueless about hardship: in fact, she's battled both cancer and multiple sclerosis. What's the message, here? That unless you've been broke, bankrupt or struggled in exactly the same ways as other women you have no valuable insight into what's important to women? I don't buy that and think it was small-minded, petty and downright hurtful for Rosen to suggest Ann Romney is irrelevant because she chose to stay home with her kids.
Furthermore, I'm really annoyed with this idea that stay-at-home moms have the LUXURY of staying at home to raise our kids. The truth is that many of us have made incredible financial and career sacrifices in order to be at home with our kids. When I had my first baby it would have made way more CENTS for me to keep working. But I made the decision to stay home and gave up 12 years of earning potential in order to be home with my growing family. Yes, in comparison to third world countries--and, yes, even to the poor here in America--I had the "luxury" of making that choice. But let's be clear: it has never been LUXURIOUS or easy.
Lastly, I will say that I found President Obama's support for Ann Romney admirable and thought it was pretty cool that he expressed displeasure with Rosen's comments.
Anyway, here I am discussing this issue with two other moms. Enjoy!