This week, news was made when Hilary Rosen made a statement indicating that Ann Romney, who was a stay-at-home mom, had never worked a day in her life. The fuss over that comment was heard all over Facebook (and other sites as well). I imagine that there were hundreds of SAHM bloggers sitting down at their computers and typing out how much work they supposedly are not doing.
So I thought I’d join in.
The comment was made in reference to Mrs. Romney’s knowledge of the economic issues that women face. So, I guess I’ll start there. Well, one can argue that she lacks this knowledge due to having a larger income. Maybe so, however, did she balance a monthly budget, pay bills, dole out allowances to her children with that paycheck? Probably so.
What else does a stay at home mother do?
Well, I’ll just share what I do. I plan and prepare meals (dietician/chef), do the grocery shopping (hunter/gatherer) listen to disagreements between the kids (moderator or referee), oversee their education because I homeschool (teacher), take care of and cleaning up after my family when they are sick (nurse), cleaning the house and training the kids to do the same (housekeeper that teaches home maintenance), guiding the youth of the house when they need correction (juvenile guidance counselor) and take care of discipline (some might say warden or parole officer). I listen to their ideas, their stories, problems. And most of all, I’m the secretary in that I keep track of schedules, and when my family needs new socks. I’m also a chauffeur, in that I drive my kids to the mall or to a homeschool co-op class or in my daughter’s case, a church event. Throw in a political campaign, and suddenly almost every night has an event to be at, or I’m out shopping for what article of clothing might be needed for an upcoming event.
Then after all that going on in the day, we finally settle into bed, with that new magazine that came in the mail 3 days ago or that book you checked out from the library last week, and it’s 11PM, and your husband, who is ready to snooze looks over at you and asks, “You’re going to read now?”
(Just for the record, my husband no longer has an issue with me having my light on to read at night. It wasn’t always that way, but he’s fine with it now)
While I agree her comment was clunky, I do not think she meant she does not work. I think she meant that because she never needed to work, she probably cannot understand the economic hardships most women suffer/worry about. Also, the fact that Romney has to ask his wife about what women are concerned about at this point in his political career is worrisome. Really if you can read or have a conversation he could know this inormation himself. Hilary Rosen should have said it better because we all know SAHM’s work and know plenty about economics.