I would like to think the mommy wars are dead. I really would like to believe that if a woman has the choice to work or stay home – or alternately – if the outrageously high cost of childcare totals as much as she earns in a year (therefore it’s not that she’s laying in beds of cash but we have no government resources to make childcare more affordable) – she stays home out of necessity – I’d like to think she is not judged. I’d like to think that each one of us recognizes that not only is staying home with children incredibly difficult WORK but it’s also incredibly important WORK. I’d like to believe that we don’t undermine stay-at-home mothers for spending their days with their kids – because when we do that – what we are really saying is that raising children isn’t important, that it doesn’t require time and emotional energy. In effect, we are undermining not just our children but also all the teachers and early childhood educators out there. Because when we judge women for being home – that is what we are saying – kids aren’t important or hard work.
Just as I’d like to believe stay-at-home mothers aren’t judging working women for their decision – again – because so few of them even have a choice. And they are stretched extremely thin, constantly short on time and agonizing over what they are missing when they are gone – and whenever their child misbehaves – what is happening in the back of their minds is this: Is my child acting like this because he needs to see me more? That’s the kind of stuff that keeps you up at night and you convince yourself of very quickly. I don’t think men do this, which is what makes this issue almost uniquely about women.
So I’d like to think we moved well past these horrible judgments long ago. Yet here we are – front page of the Washington Post – because of Hilary Rosen’s comment that, no matter how you slice it, clearly exposed her personal belief that staying home with children isn’t work.
None of this will motivate me to even CONSIDER for one second voting for Mitt Romney. Nor will it distract me from the outrageous war on women’s issues, specifically healthcare, that the Republicans have carefully spent all winter waging. And just as I’d like to believe the “mommy wars” are dead, I’d like to believe that this convenient distraction will not make any of us forget this past winter. And Romney’s inability to call Rush Limbaugh a disgrace for calling women “sluts” for wanting birth control pills. What did Ann Romney think of that? If we’re going to turn to her for substantive issues on all things women, then let’s hear it.
We are smart enough not to forget this entire winter.
Just like we are smarter than the mommy wars. I see the irony in this post today after my post yesterday that was, largely, playfully baiting everyone into admitting we judge each other for how “hard” we have it based on how many kids we have. Convenient that I want feed the judging machine one day and then am filled with disdain the next.
But this is important. Oh. And it’s my blog.
Staying home with your children is humbling, draining, taxing, stressful and exhausting work. You don’t answer to a boss or deadlines, argues some. Really?
Have you met a three year old? My entire life is answering to an irrational and unpredictable boss while up against deadlines not for 8 hours but more like 14 hours.
But working means someone else is “raising your kids.”
Cause when I worked full-time, I was the one who took my kids to the doctors, who stayed home when they were sick, who packed their lunches, washed their clothes, gave them baths, fed them at night, planned their birthday parties, volunteered in their classrooms and rocked them all night when they were sick.
I was raising my kids. Not my nanny. Not the pre school teacher. Me and my husband.
If the mommy wars are really dead – and please let them be – then hopefully if we’re commenting on all the attention Hilary Rosen’s comment is garnering right now – it’s to remind everyone that they are dead and this won’t distract us from the real important issues facing our country right now.
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