Twitter Becomes Working Mom Vs. SAHM Firestorm In Response To Ann Romney ‘Never Worked’

When Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen stated that Ann Romney “has never worked a day in her life” when discussing economic issues, the hopeful first lady signed herself up for Twitter right quick and responded accordingly. Ann then hopped over to Fox News and defended her choice to be a SAHM by saying:

“My career choice was to be a mother and I think all of us need to know we need to respect choices women make.”

Even though Rosen shows no sign of recanting her statement, both ladies seem to have stumbled into the cultural firestorm that often is professional working motherhood vs. stay-at-home motherhood. Politics completely aside, the conversation is always a delicate one in which even the question of a SAHM having a “job” is a taboo one — and for good reason. A simple question of “do you work?” when posed to a SAHM can result in an array of emotions as it sure isn’t a vacation keeping a home and raising children.

We have since evolved to other vocabulary choices such as “do you work outside the home?” or “are you employed?” but the residual tension always lingers with the underlying suggestion that being a SAHM is somehow not “real work.” The debate is usually fraught with comments on class and wealth as in our contemporary economic situation, few women are in a financial position to choose stay-at-home motherhood in the first place.

And yet in the wake of these dumb and incendiary comments by Rosen, Twitter has exploded with the insinuations that modern mothers are often quick to make everyday, with questions about privilege, nannies, elitism, and who exactly has the right to call themselves a “working mother.” But we aren’t exactly hanging around the playground with this one, ladies, muttering under our breath about the mother who just pulled up with a Bluetooth. This has become a national discussion, with the respect for women’s choices and family directly at the center.

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    • Emily

      I have worked full-time (while going to graduate school), and I have stayed home with kids (with help) full-time, and I know which is harder on a day-to-day basis. I also know that friends in the same boat think the opposite from what I do.

      I can’t fathom why any woman would criticize another about her work ethic, whether she opted to stay at home or work full-time, whether she had a choice about the matter or not. We (all women) are doing a disservice to ourselves by even continuing the debate. There is no one solution that is right for every woman or every family.

      • CW

        I personally felt that being an employed FT mother of one was about the same amount of work as being a homemaker mom of 2, but being a homemaker mom of 3 including an autistic child is WAAAAAAAAY harder than being an employed mother of a single neurotypical child. I love my children dearly and wouldn’t trade my situation for the one I was in when I just had my oldest and a FT paid position. But it was a HECK of a lot easier!

    • Ann

      Well said, Emily. Women (whether mothers or not) need to start supporting each other regardless of our choices, especially those that are personal in nature.

    • Laura

      I’m sure that raising five boys is a task in and of itself, but I’m wondering if Rosen’s words ring more true given the extremely out-of-touch with the middle class statements her husband has made throughout this campaign.

      Her Escalades…..his friends that own NASCAR teams……

      • Emily

        What she has and who she knows do not matter. I do not understand how the type of car you drive might possible raise or lower the difficulty level of raising kids. Sure, having to clean your own house is tougher than having someone come in to do it for you. And wouldn’t it be nice if we all had someone to make the kids’ beds, do their laundry, etc. But a mom- any mom, working outside the home or not – is still going to spend a GREAT deal of time and effort caring for her kids in myriad ways.

      • Laura

        Please take not that I didn’t say that it was wrong or right to make this statement regarding her “working” status, but the fact that Romney’s extreme upper class lifestyle and subsequent disconnect with the working class has been a hallmark of the campaign.

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    • Katie

      You know what, im going to steer away from the typical argument of “who works harder”

      I am a working mother. My job is easy. Im a librarian in a small library that has a low number of customers. If I were home with my daughter, I would be working a lot harder.

      However, if I were at home with my daughter (who is of school age, mind you) we would not have two paychecks coming in. We would not be able to afford our rent and we would not be able to afford as much food as we have, we would not be able to afford two (second hand, craptacular) cars, and we wouldnt be able to afford Sage’s school books.

      So there you go, I am a working mother because we need me to be. If I werent, in our situation, it would be neglectful.

      • Frances

        Craptacular is not my word of the day. Love it!

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    • Frances

      @ Emily. I think having a few brand new, in perfect condition cars would make life much easier for a parent than having one or two craptacular (thanks Katie!) cars that may or may not get you to where you gotta go, regardless of whether that parent is a SAHM or a working mom or a WAHM.

      I will NOT get into an argument about who works harder, there is no real answer because there are so many variables and even the idea of hard work is subjective. I will say that I am put off by the idea that Ann Romney thinks she can speak for the average woman or that she “reports back to her husband” on our issues. Being a bazillionaire makes a huge difference.

      By the way, I actually kind of like the Romneys. I consider myself liberal but I’m an independent, not a rabid democrat. I admire Ann Romney’s dignity with her struggle with MS and from what I’ve read about her she is probably a decent person. But no, she does not speak for me or my struggles as a mother.

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