Hilary Rosen works, SAHMs apparently don’t

Posted on April 12th, 2012

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My parents were pretty scrupulous about pounding manners into my sisters and me. To this day, I do not discuss politics, money, sex or the state of anyone’s marriage in public. I also don’t pick my teeth at the dinner table or go to the grocery store wearing pajamas. At the same time my parents instilled in us a distinct sense of standing up for what you believe in. I may never discuss who I voted for in the last presidential election – but I will be damned if I allow someone to insult what I do without mentioning it.

Oh, yeah, I am totally talking about Hillary Rosen.

I have to say that my first reaction upon hearing Rosen said that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life,” was Bitch, please.  This is 2012. As women, we have choices. If Ann Romney’s was to stay home and raise her children, then frankly I don’t think there is one person on the planet who should question that choice. (Please note, while this is a political hot potato, I am not defending or ticked off at anyone based on their political party.)

Say what you will, believe what you will; Ann Romney has a right to make the choice that is best for her and her family. Sure Romney has advantages others may not have had. She hasn’t had to choose between which bills get paid that week so she can stay home. She hasn’t had to decide if she can afford the name brand detergent that month. She hasn’t had to turn down the heat in winter so she can pay the energy bill.

But that doesn’t make her choice something that should be disparaged. In all honesty, I’ve been on both sides of the fence here. I worked when Junior was small. I quit when he was 4. And I’ll tell you, there are times when staying home was difficult – both financially and emotionally. And honestly? There were times when I was working where it was difficult financially and emotionally.

Of course, my choice isn’t right for everyone. I know women who work for a variety of reasons. Some financial, some emotional, some just because they want to get out of the dang house and love what they do. I don’t judge any of them. Each of us must make our own choices. We have to make our own sacrifices. It’s not up to someone else to judge that. We should be able to see that each one of us is doing the best we can.

And that’s where my blog would have ended, except that today Hilary Rosen came out with an apology. Personally, I think the apology was idiotic – she started with “Let’s put the faux ‘war against stay at home moms to rest.” Um, please don’t insult me, then belittle me in your apology, okay Hilary?

It’s not faux. It’s real. It happens every time women gather together a SAHM is asked what she does for a living. Seriously? I’ve been there and when asked said that I stay home. I actually had one woman, a college professor, turn away from me and begin talking to someone else. And, Hilary, FYI, it happens every time a woman stands up and says that another woman who is a SAHM has never worked a day in her life.

As I’ve said, this was not an easy blog to write. I don’t identify with either woman, to be honest.  And I don’t want to discuss how much any campaign was damaged or what either side thinks about SAHMs or women or whatever.

But I just had to get this off my chest. Because as much as I do not want to talk about politics I will not be insulted by Hilary Rosen or anyone else. I was taught that by my mother, a woman who worked outside the home, but respects my choice not to do so.

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9 Responses to “Hilary Rosen works, SAHMs apparently don’t”

  1. ChaCHA online Says:

    Amen! Being a SAHM is really REALLY hard work. I just recently returned to work after staying at home with my kids 7 yrs, and for me a full-time job is like a vacation compared to being on call for my kids non-stop. Thanks for getting that off your chest. :) I am sure there are plenty of other “unemployed” SAHM’s out there that agree whole-heartedly with you.

  2. Laurie Says:

    ChaCha, thanks :) I love staying home – but there is a huge part of me that would go back, mainly because I’m insanely jealous that working moms get to talk to actual adults!

  3. Mia Says:

    Ok I hear you! We woman need to unite not fight each other on which is harder or more meaningful (staying at home mom or a working mom). They are both equally hard for different reasons. We woman have worked hard throught the centuries to be seen, heard and respected. How dare we disrespect each other! Funny thing is when woman do come together from all walks of life, we are a force to behold!

  4. Laurie Says:

    @Mia, I could not have said it better. You are so right – when we come together we are a force to behold!

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Laurie –

    I am working mom. I have been for the last 13 years. For the first 6 of those years it was by choice as I was married, then 4 years after that it was because I was divorce, now for the past 3 years, being remarried it’s still a choice.
    I cannot STAND working mom’s who put stay at home moms down. Sure I’d like to stay at home in my jammies and drink coffee but I know that’s not what SAHM’s do. I had one day off with my kids recently and spent the whole day (they are 13 and 9) putting out fights, cooking breakfast and lunch and snacks, entertianing them etc., by the end of the day I was exahusted and wanted to bang my head against the wall, I actually made my husband take me to the bar when he got home from work. =) I know SAHM moms work really hard, they have to cook, clean, educate and run errands so I respect them.
    I also cannot STAND stay at home moms who belittle me because I work. Work is no picnic, it is hard, tiring and frustrating – then I still come home and clean and cook and take kids to soccer. We live less than a block from my daughters school and I actually had one of her friends moms at girlscouts look me striaght in the face (not knowing at the time I was a working mom) and told me that she thinks working moms who let thier kids walk home should be put in jail and “how dare they” not watch thier kids walk to and from school every day.
    So my point is this: SAHM’s you kick butt and do what you want to do and working mom’s you kick butt to and lets all just get along without bragging about who has it worse.

  6. Laurie Says:

    Jennifer, Oh, the sancti-mommies, the ones who point fingers at working moms and talk smack. I’ve always wondered what their problem is, but mostly I ignore them just in case whatever caused their attitude is contagious ;)

    In all honesty, working moms have my admiration. It isn’t easy to do it all. It leaves little time for anything else. As a SAHM, I feel like I can breathe a bit, but I do miss talking to grow ups. It’s not the same when I’m talking back to the CNN anchors.

  7. Mira J. Says:

    I am a a SAHM, I’ve had my husband’s family members tell me they think SAHMs are lazy, even in my own home, after I prepared a nice meal for them and cleaned up after them. If that is truly how they feel, next time they come over, they need to prepare their own food, and clean up before and after they leave my home…..that’s right, MY home that I jointly own with my husband. I work very hard to make sure we have a nice household and well mannered child. I don’t need people in my home who don’t respect me, just because I don’t pull in a big paycheck.

  8. Laurie Says:

    Hi Mira,
    I like your ‘tude :) My parents were shocked when I became a SAHM, just because I was very career oriented and had set up a nice path for myself. My in-laws were less than thrilled, probably because it put extra pressure on their son. But I always had the attitude that it was our decision and nobody else’s. At the time, we decided to have me stay home for just a few years, which turn into 16 years because that’s what our son needed. Over the years, I’ve run into many people who think I’m crazy, lazy or stupid and I’m not any of those things (well, possibly crazy). I just ignore them. I’m not responsible for what other people think – only for myself and my family. I may not contribute much in terms of a paycheck, but there is usually something sort of edible to eat, a clean house and a well-mannered, well-educated, smart-mouthed child hanging around whining that I always want to know where he’s going, who he’s with and what he’s doing. Also? Nobody goes without clean underwear which is a bonus :)

  9. Gina Says:

    I know I am late leaving a reply with this, but I was traveling when this was posted. I was never a full SAHM. If I was not on miitary orders, I would spend a lot of time volunteering at my childrens’ schools. On top of that, I would take care of the house,cook, make sure clean underware was available. Now that I am retired from the military (15 years of service) I was a SAHM for about a year. Though, all I did was volunteer MORE at the schools, help neighbors,friends, family and manage my household. I entered a crazy place call civilian workforce in Sept. of this year.IT had been quite a few years since I was a civilian employee. Wow, crazy how it has all changed. I will say that my hubs, a career military , now in the National Guard, who works 50 -60 hrs a week in logistics , has been semi helpful around the house. He does the trash duty, some carpool/lesson chaufer details and “helps” with the laundry. But with both of us juggling work , home chores and our kids, it is barely enough to keep the clutter and grime off most surifaces, kids happy, and clean. SAHM work. Or at least the vast majority do. There are some that do not maintaine their homes or kids. But I try to ignore that. Working moms have it rough too. Most enjoy the adult convos and accomplishing work tasks. But most of them would love to stay home, or have more time/energy to be with their kids. Either choice is commedable. I will say, we are blessed, and have not had to worry much about paying our bills, providing for our children. My return to work was for the little extra to cover my spoiled children’s activities and special trips /treats. So in a nutshell- if you are a SAHM you go girl! Enjoy it and be happy about your ability to do so. You are a super momma! If you are a workin momma- You go Girl! Rock the job and your home! No matter what does not get done or how ever you may you slighted someone or thing, it does not matter- you are a super mom.

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