Monday

The Mommy Wars!


Apparently there is a war going on between Stay at Home Moms (SAHM) and Working Moms (WM).

Vocabulary is important though. My characterization of the war may invite some attacks. The SAHM resent the implication that they do not work and sit around eating bon bons. A more accurate description is that it is a war between mothers who earn money outside of the home and those who do not. The self-appointed spokesperson for the SAHM crowd is none other than Ann Romney.

What are we fighting for???

Unlike most wars, this war started with words not guns. Apparently a political strategist had the gall to say that Ann Romney “has not worked a day in her life”. Imagine someone suggesting that a mega rich woman hasn’t worked hard!

Mrs. Romney became outraged. She got on Twitter. Then she declared that raising five sons is indeed hard work. She also said that her "choice" to stay at home should be supported because as Oprah says, “being a mom is the hardest job on earth”.

Let us be careful not to confuse the issue though. Mrs. Romney, devoted mother that she is, is not the average SAHM. She is the filthy rich version of the SAHM. As my grandmother would say, the Romney’s “got Rockefeller money”. That means that Mrs. Romney had the privilege of raising her five sons without worrying about how she would feed them, clothe them, or pay for them to go to college. She was able to provide them with piano lessons, horseback riding lessons, and any other lesson they might desire. She had a main house, a vacation house, and could have had an old fashioned outhouse if she wanted one.

Being rich has its privileges. And one of those privileges is not having to work as hard. Indeed, most people work to acquire money so that they can improve their lives and enjoy more luxuries. Having money eased Mrs. Romney’s burdens. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

Mrs. Romney did not work as hard as the average SAHM who struggles to make ends meet by clipping coupons, researching deals on the internet, and boiling chicken bones to make soup stock because that is how she is able to stay home with her family. Mrs. Romney definitely did not work as hard as my grandmother who worked as a nurse’s aide and a domestic to provide a home and some small treats for her five children.

However, this is not a rich bashing piece. I like the rich. Indeed, I plan to become one of them one day. To that end, like millions of Americans, I played the Mega Million and dreamt about making my rich plans a reality. I also save my money and think of ways to make more money since the Mega Million thing didn't work out.

Also, Mrs. Romney is right. Any way you slice it, the mommy job is a tough one and mothering should be more highly valued by society. And to be fair, Mrs. Romney’s choice to be an engaged, present mother, should be commended. However, most mothers who work outside of the home do so out of necessity. Working is a “choice” imposed upon them by the economy, death of a spouse, or a dead beat dad.

Also, in the interest of being truthful, even though I work hard and struggle to balance my demands in my stilettos, my struggles are not typical. If somebody said, “Chatón may be a working mom, but she is not the “average working mom”, they would be right. I’ve got it good. I am educated. I am an attorney. I drive a reliable care. I have a nanny who comes to my home and takes great care of my daughter while I am at work. I have Andre, and even though I complain about him sometimes, he’s really great (and kinda hot).  I even manage to carve out some time to whine, I mean blog, nearly every day. I cannot compare my challenges with the single mom who has a GED, works at McDonald’s, and relies on the bus for transportation. That doesn’t mean that I have it easy, I just recognize that I am blessed.

I guess that is why I decided to comment on the “Mommy Wars” and Mrs. Romney’s statements. I’m not hating on her. I just wish that this debate was less about politics and more about substance. Perhaps we will get there… Perhaps, at the end of this “Mommy War, all moms will have our contributions to our homes and to society valued. That would make me happy because that is the only thing in this entire discussion that is worth fighting for.
"Phony Mommy Wars", http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/20/opinion/risman-mommy-war/index.html



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