It’s been blowing up my Facebook feed the past few days – this issue of working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. I haven’t made any comments because my thoughts on this won’t fit into those little boxes.
I have been a stay-at-home mom. I have been a working mom. I am currently a work-at-home mom. I think I have a little bit of experience from which to draw here!
I read all about Hilary Rosen’s comment about Ann Romney. What I find interesting is that all this outrage is regarding a comment Rosen made about Romney. She never said that stay-at-home moms have never worked a day in their lives. She said that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life.
There is a huge difference there.
Ann Romney replied that she made a choice to stay home and raise her five sons. I wonder how many working moms actually made a choice to work. I didn’t. I worked because I needed to. I worked because my child needed to eat. She needed a roof over her head. She needed diapers and clothes.
I didn’t make a choice to stay home either. I lost my job – one at a company that paid significantly higher than other companies in its field. I started doing the math for what the other companies would pay me. I would have made enough money to cover day care and travel with maybe $30-40 a week left over.
I did make a choice to quit my job a year and a half ago so that I could pursue a freelance career. But it was not an easy choice. I had to re-budget, plan every shopping trip, say “no” to a lot of things. I struggled. I worked super long hours. And I did it all so that I could spend more time with my daughter.
I’ve never had millions in the bank. I’ve never hired a cook or a housekeeper and while I was home, I never paid for any kind of child care. And I think I’d be pretty safe in guessing that vast majority of stay-at-home moms haven’t either!
And that right there was the purpose for Rosen’s comment – that Ann Romney is not any kind of authority on the issue of women’s financial struggles.