Popular Posts

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Never worked a day in her life...yeah.

Well, I have been silent a while. Soccer, multiple small medical issues, tutoring, protests, holidays, George's speech therapy, and a Biggest Winner challenge have been keeping momma busy. I have been hitting the gym and dieting, preparing for the next move, and knee deep in political unrest on the island. These three little one's keep me on the move continuously. In the midst of all this, while discussing the upcoming presidential campaign with my husband, I hear about Hilary Rosen. As many of you know, I am a stay at home mom. My mom was a stay at home mom, as was her mom, as was my sister. So you can imagine that I was struck speechless for about 2 seconds before my temper flared. For those of you who do not know what I am referring to, watch the link and then continue.


So, let me get this straight Hilary. If I don't bring in a paycheck, then I don't have to deal with concerns about my children's future, economic stability, feeding them, or educating them? If I don't pull in a paycheck and enroll my kids in day care with that paycheck, then I couldn't possibly keep informed about politics or the economy. I am out of touch and useless and should sit down and be quiet. Like my friend Michelle said on her blog: "If I don't work, then I don't count". Hilary Rosen is a democratic strategist and advisor to the President. When addressing Romney's comments about the economy and how he and his wife had discussed how significantly it weighs on the minds of American women, she dismissed his concern and his wife.They are out of touch and old fashioned.  Her comments that Ann Romney, who raised FIVE sons, survived breast cancer, and battles MS "never worked a day in her life" were so offensive, I am truly shocked she had the nerve to say it out loud. This is such an ignorant point of view, that I have hesitated to even write this blog. I really don't know where to start with such a stupid woman. Sadly, she isn't the only one. So, I guess I will start there.

I used to be a cop. We know this. It was a long time ago, and it was for 7 years. I liked it. I was never in it for the long haul. I knew this deep down. I knew I wanted babies. I knew that, although some women made it work, that I would not do both well. It wasn't the danger element. I was in a relatively safe suburb. It was the lifestyle. My coworkers put a tremendous amount of stress on me. Working with almost all men has it's advantages and disadvantages. The shift work was a big thing. The Police Dept. never closes. You work holidays, nights, overtime. Cops who are parents miss Christmas morning, school plays, hockey games, Sunday morning at church. It isn't the life I wanted once I had little ones at home.

I saw my sister having the other life. She worked as a social worker until she had her first child. Then she cut it down to part-time and had family pitch in with babysitting. Then she stopped her career all together when they could swing it financially. She had another baby. She stayed home cooking, cleaning,gardening, playing and teaching her kids. Kindermusik, playdates, the park for a swing, story time at the library. It was fabulous. Yes, those breast milk vomit stains on her shirt and peanut butter fingers on her TV were all fabulous, and I wanted it too.  It came with a price. I saw it first hand. What did she give up. you ask? Social workers don't make squat for pay, the money was not really missed. What she gave up was respect. The respect of self-righteous, working mother's. Not all, mind you. Many women admired her choice, and some envied her ability to stay home with her kids. Other's? Well, it never ceased to amaze me some of the brazen comments that were made to her. "What do you DO all day?" "I could never just stay at home and not work". Once during a continuing education seminar we were both attending, we went around and introduced ourselves, and said why we were taking the class. We all needed the credits to maintain our social worker licenses. That was the real answer. Colleen introduces herself and says that she was there for the CE credits to maintain her license, but that she had just had a baby and that she had left her job to stay home with her daughter.  Another woman stands up, introduces herself, and says "I have four children" pause, looks at my sister,"and I work" insert condescending sneer and chuckle. I seriously almost lept over that table and snatched a patch out of that woman's bad dye job. Colleen and I are Irish twins. My mom barely had her stitches out from Colleen before she was pregnant again with me. We are close, and messing with my sister in any way get's my dander up.  She slid that little dig in and pushed forward about her great career. Colleen shrugged it off, "I am used to it, that's her guilt talkin". It is true. If she was comfortable with herself and her choices, she wouldn't feel the need to diminish someone who made a different choice. Another person use to call her a "sit at home mom". You know....because she "sits" home and does nothing. Not "stays" home with the chosen purpose of raising her children outside of daycare. She sits...all day...yeah. Once she got the babes off to school, she began her writing career and pursuing her master's. Her book will be published in October. Pretty good use of all that sitting time.

 My sister and I know a lot of working mom's. We admire them.  It is hard doing both. Some people are great at doing both, but I come from a long line of stay at home mommies. It was the only choice I was comfortable with for me. I work hard to give my kids love, stability, an education, a nice home, a happy existence. I volunteer at the school. I help out at the church. I also take care of myself. I have to. I am on the front lines with this family, and they need me to be healthy and happy.  My husband supports this decision, not because he is old fashioned, but because he likes the security of having me home for the kids 24-7. I worked when my stepkids were little (but school-age.) Snow days were a panic, we sent our kids to school sick, we ate out a lot, we let a lot of school stuff slip through the cracks. It sucked. When I started having babies, it was not even a question.

Interestingly, I have not had the same experience in the military community that Colleen had to endure. I did have a new neighbor (my first tour as a Marine spouse) make a comment about some wife being another "freeloader". I raised my hand and said, "freeloader, right here". She kind of got embarrassed and we tactfully moved on. That is the only time in 11 years. There is a higher population of stay at home mom's in the military. More homeschooling, too. So, no one thinks twice if you aren't employed. The civilian world also seems to give me an unspoken pass from being called a lazy-slattern-sit-at-home because..."Oh, you're a military wife. That must be hard moving around." We are seen as taking one for the team and serving our country. We gut out deployments. A lot of people comment on how they "don't know how I do it. " It is nice getting that respect. I treasure it.

 I have known some stay at home dad's in the military community. You think the women have it bad? Try being the guy who stays home with the kids and takes the daughter to ballet while mom is deployed. Never truly fitting in with the mom's or the soldiers. They deserve equal respect for their choices. Nothing wrong with a breaking from tradition if everyone has  a job and they do it well. Those dad's work hard for their families and deserve a lot of respect.

 Non-military families who decide to be a single income household don't deserve to be looked down upon, either. The man must be old fashioned and the wife must be too much of a princess to work, right? She must be lazy or too uneducated to get a real job, right?  I can tell you that being a stay at home mother is work and stress and definitely not the glamorous life of a princess. Some days I would more likely compare myself to one of the old sea hags from children's stories.

Why do I blog about this? Hilary Rosen's comment was out of line. It is a slap in the face to mother's employed and not employed, because it insinuates that raising a family isn't work. It also insinuates that full time mom's don't have the life experience or depth to ponder world issues such as politics and the economy or women's issues. We all sit home eating oreos and watching Oprah and are completely out of touch with the real American woman's plight. Hilary Rosen is an over educated, elitist, loudmouth who should stick to her script. She is too ignorant to speak off the cuff, obviously, and she isn't sorry. She can keep her apology and go sit down.

No comments:

Post a Comment