First, here's a little background on why I'm about to say this thing that makes necessary this clutching near of your horse and your hos and your bitches:
The other day there was a minor, made-up, totally bull shit scuttlebutt over the fact that some TV pundit said, "Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life."
|Hilary Rosen, without foot in mouth|
Rosen's point was that Ann Romney, who is an extremely wealthy woman, can't really understand the typical American woman. Isn't that what these dumb campaigns are always about? "I'm just like you. I like y'all's cheesy grits. My wife drives the car you built here in this factory, in fact she drives two of them. Hey, you like football? I have a friend who owns a football team. Hey, you eat hot dogs? I eat hot dogs, too, whenever the maid forgets to buy my filet mignon. You're unemployed? Me, too. Har, har har! We have so much in common, poverty-stricken voters, so vote for me!"
Rosen's comment was nothing more than what has been said a million times already: Mitt Romney and his family are extremely wealthy and having that much money for your entire adult life can make it difficult to understand what it's like for a person who makes minimum wage.
Instead, the whole thing gets turned into this ridiculous notion that Rosen was saying stay-at-home moms don't work. Oh my God, please give me a break.
But while I have you here, I'm going to say something that might piss off a lot of people. Here it is:
In my experience, being a stay-at-home mom is not that hard.
Gasp. I know. I'm so wrong! It's the hardest job in the world! It's a noble sacrifice! It's a saintly, angelic profession for saintly angelic sacrificing women.
Yes, the infant and toddler years are difficult. (I have a secret to tell you new parents: All the years can be pretty difficult because being a parent is difficult. You think a crying baby is bad? Try having a sassy, back-talking pre-teen girl in your house.)
But just once I want stay-at-home moms to admit that as soon as kids are school age, it is not that hard. Those kids are gone seven or eight (or sometimes more) hours of the day.
|I said I want white milk! WHITE MILK, you dumb cow!|
If you are a member of a certain tax bracket...
If you are a member of the 1 percent...
If you have a typical, healthy child without special needs...
If you aren't raising Tiny Toddler Hitler or Baby Charlie Manson or Terrible Twos Charlie Sheen...
If you have a non-psychotic, non-sociopath, non-douchebag child...
It's not that hard.
I stayed home with my son for about a year after he was first born. I did go to school but I was only gone a couple of hours a day, during which he went to my mother-in-law's house. That year was fanfuckingtastic.
This past year, I guess you could say I've been a stay-at-home mom. I haven't worked. Sure, I wrote a book and I've done some freelance projects, but I did those while my children were at school every day from about 7 am until 4 pm.
For at least four of the years that I worked at Southern Living, I went to work as soon as the kids got on the bus at the asscrack of dawn and I came home in time to see them get off the bus or, later when we moved to a new house, I got off in time to pick up Kate in the car pool line.
No, I wasn't a stay-at-home mom, but I sure as hell was home when the kids were.
I was blessed to be able to do a job I loved plus be home every afternoon for my kids. I was lucky.
I have been blessed to be at home this past year, to be with them after school and to write and clean and do laundry and fold laundry and put away laundry while they were gone.
OK, I lied. I rarely put away laundry.
My point, really, is that just once JUST ONCE, I want people to stop acting like such saintly, self-sacrificing angels and admit that once those kids are in school, IT'S NOT THAT HARD.
OK, go ahead and hate on me. I don't care. But having children and staying at home is not any harder or more noble than having children and working outside the home. And working outside the home and having children is no better or nobler than staying at home.
|This is not that hard.|
The truth is that life is difficult and we all struggle no matter what our days are made of. This is true for everyone everywhere in every profession (paid or unpaid) in every country in every house on every block. Whatever choices you make or feel are made for you, life is tough.
If you can stay at home with your kids, great. If you choose to work or have to work and you can be home in time for after-school snacks, great.
If you can't make it home until 5:30 or 6, that's OK, too. My mom got home every day by 5:30. We went to day care for awhile. We were latchkey kids for a bit, too. And guess what? NO ONE other than my mother raised me. I don't remember one person from day care. There is no doubt that my mother influenced me in every conceivable way.
I guess all I'm saying is whatever you're doing, good for you. You don't have to convince anyone how worthwhile it is or how much work it is. It doesn't actually have to be hard to be worthwhile. Don't let a bunch of assholes trying to win a campaign tell you there is a war on stay-at-home moms or working moms. Let's stop allowing jerks to pit us against one another for ridiculous reasons or to hijack the national political discussion with unnecessary debates.
|Raising 5 boys is hard, especially when your husband is a robot.|
All it means is she stayed home and raised five sons. Period.
|How about you all just STFU now?|
"Forget it. Women who stay at home are wonderful. Women who go to work are wonderful. Whatever."