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Friday, April 13, 2012

Dreams of the Everyday Housewife

Now I'm mad...

Recently, Hilary Rosen , Democratic Stategist, inferred that Ann Romney knows nothing about economics having been a stay-at-home mom and never having "worked a day in her life." This slight against Romney's knowledge and practical experience was also an attack against everyone who has also chosen to stay home. That includes me.

Rosen is wrong - we work!

Once not that many years back, I dreamed of being a CEO of a large corporation. That soon gave way to dreaming about becoming a good mother and wife. I have lived my dreams. I worked at that large corporation and switched from there to home by choice. I had decided that my children were just a bit more worth my attention. This move afforded me time to keep dreaming while attending to being a good wife and mother. Now that the kids are nearly all grown up I have time to go back to that large corporation but I just don't think I will do it. I prefer to manage the very business that I started when I wasn't working - the very same business that I started even though I knew nothing about economics - according to the Hilary Rosen's of the world.

I'm not sure that a career has afforded Rosen this same privilege; her words hint at bitterness and stereotyped thinking - the kind that feminists were supposed to upend. Perhaps she - and others like her - have sunk too far into the male world to recognize feminine geniuses who balance multiple things at a time while preferring relationships to projects. Too many females have adopted the notion of the masculinized female who ridicules her own femininity which would normally revel in nurturing, creating, ordering life around the Creator, being careful of others' feelings, and giving of self to others (volunteer work).

Why is it ok to ridicule stay at home mothers? I remember when we closed on our home recently after refinancing (to take advantage of lower interest rates)and the lender commenting that I was spoiled because my husband "let me stay home while he had to bear the brunt of paying the bills". I didn't get up right then and there because I took it for the greater good of the family finances! I also didn't tell him that I cook the meals; wash the clothes - even making one or two now and then; pay the bills, wake up in the middle of the night to attend to the children so my husband is fresh for his job even while my days are somtimes pretty dreary due to lack of sleep. Nor did I tell this mortgage lender that I garden and can the veggies to help make ends meet - or used to anyway. Nor did I mention that I am the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker! Literally. Also I failed to mention that I have a brain and use it to write books. Neither did I mention that I didn't like being called spoiled. Again, we moms at home take it for the sake of the family.

On another occasion I recall the words of a former colleague: "If I had a wife making your salary, I sure wouldn't let her stay home!"

I can't figure it out. Are all these people just envious of our choices? Or of the fact that we have a choice? I thought men and women were all about choice. Yes, I did make a good salary! And for sure we would be in a higher income category had I continued to work - outside of the home. But life would have been much more complex! And more than likely we wouldn't have had seven children.

No matter, it's obvious that some people fail to appreciate that money and job title do not define me or any stay at home mom! Most of us think we're in the business of forming character. Maybe that's the missing link in these career folks. Or maybe, they just don't have time to think straight!

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words cannot hurt me or Ann. But they sure can make us mad!