You didn’t think I was going to just ignore Hilary Rosen’s comments about stay-at-home moms, did you? What kind of self-respecting mommy blogger would I be if I didn’t throw in my two cents worth of outrage?
Ok, truth be told I tried to think of a way that I didn’t have to write about this topic because the last thing it needs is more attention. And like almost everything in today’s over-politicized atmosphere, motherhood is becoming a sound bite for campaigns instead of a real conversation.
Motherhood shouldn’t be campaign fodder.
But, I have to chime in here with my view on Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comments on CNN last week. To recap, Rosen said Mitt Romney’s wife “has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”
And then the mommy blogosphere exploded. Rightly so.
Rosen’s comments are outrageous. Ann Romney raised five children as a stay-at-home mother. Motherhood is work — all-consuming, high stakes and endless.
Rosen has apologized for her choice of words. But that’s the problem: They weren’t just words. They indicate a much bigger problem about how society values and views motherhood — especially stay-at-home moms.
Most politicians are savvy enough not to say so on air, but many people still think stay-at-home motherhood is second place. It’s for moms who couldn’t hack it in careers. It’s for moms who can’t juggle a job and a family.
Sure, everyone this week is talking about how much we value moms (the Republicans are having a field day with this particular Democratic misstep), but where’s the proof? Where is the solid evidence that society really does place a value on stay-at-home moms — a value that recognizes staying home to raise your children is a brave, selfless and conscious choice? Does society in any way encourage mothers to make the choice to leave work to be a mother?
I don’t know how to change such a deep-rooted attitude. But until we actually put some action behind our words, we can’t truly value the sacrifice of a mother who puts her life aside to raise the next generation.
Until then, people like Rosen will continue to accidentally belittle the efforts of stay-at-home moms because deep down, it’s how they really feel. And no amount of campaign hoopla can cover that up.
What was your reaction to Rosen’s comments? Does being a stay-at-home mom classify as “not working a day” in your life?