The 'Mommy War' Debate Is About Wealth Not Work


ann romneyHow did the whole Ann Romney/Hilary Rosen mommy war turn into a so-called "working" moms vs. "stay-at-home" moms debate? I think it's partly Hillary's clumsy "never worked a day in her life" comment. Regardless, the conversation has been framed all wrong.

The real issue with Ann Romney relating to "real" American women on behalf of Mitt is her wealth, plain and simple. It's not about being a SAHM. She has not led a typical life. And the stresses she has faced as a wealthy mother of five boys are just the tip of the iceberg compared with the stresses most women face every day.

We could compare the life of a single mom who pulls a night shift at the hospital with the life of a married mom who spends her days shuttling her kids to and from ballet and soccer in a new minivan through manicured suburbs and we would still not come close to the differences between Ann and the rest of us.

Ann Romney isn't just well off. She's WEALTHY wealthy. Forget never having to worry about paying for health insurance, saving for her kids' college, having to choose between food or diapers. She's way beyond that. Wealthy enough to hire a Downton Abbey-sized crew of people to care for the $10 million house in New Hampshire, $895,000 townhouse in Belmont, and $12 million property in La Jolla (a tear-down to make room for a 11,000 square foot house -- good thing they got rid of the mansion in Deer Valley because that was really too many servants). Wealthy enough to hide the number of horses she owns from her husband. Wealthy enough to hire someone to keep track of the bills for her.

Now there's nothing wrong with being stinkin' rich. As Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof puts it, "If money is a curse, than may God smite me with it -- AND MAY I NEVER RECOVER!" But it does create a special challenge for relating to the pressures regular parents face.

Wealthy, privileged moms in America work hard, too. But not at the same stuff we do. And not with the same pressures.

Do you think the Ann Romney war is just a distraction from the real issues women face?


Image via BU Interactive News/Flickr


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Stacey. Stacey.

I agree with every word.

Maybe being a stay at home who struggled to make it with her husband and children it would be feasible she could relate, but being a super wealthy SAHM, no way.

nonmember avatar Anon

Of course it's about their wealth. You know who else is extremely wealthy? The Clintons, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry... the whole of Congress -

nonmember avatar Kate

Ann Romney has no more "special challenge for relating to the pressures regular parents face" than Michelle Obama. Both women have the financial means to make the choice, one chose working in the home one chose working outside the home. Saying SAHM's don't work is like saying WOHM's don't mother.

nonmember avatar Amanda

So you are saying you can relate to other First Ladies...really...which one exactly because none of them have been poor single mothers living off food stamps. I am so sick of hearing about this pseudo double life mom working nights so she can be home during the day.

nonmember avatar Jane lawler

Rosen's response was about the economy and impact on most mothers. Ann Romney may have had struggles related to her role as a mom but the common day to day financial struggles of motherhood is likely not one of them.

nonmember avatar Anon

Jane lawlor - There isn't a single politician or politicians' wife that experiences daily financial struggles. Not one.

mamivon2 mamivon2

I couldnt agree more

nonmember avatar Shani

Yes, Anne Romeney is rich and that makes her diffrent from most SAHM mom's but she also is a SAHM with M.S. I bet that it is pretty hard to be an around the clock mom with a disease like that. Also I am so sick of mother's and the whole lets see who's had it worse contest. There are a lot of parenting problems that money can't fix. Being rich probably didn't make it any easier to get up for 3 o'clock feeding than it was for us.

nonmember avatar Widowed Mom

Hilary Rosen was obviously comparing Ann's wealthy stay at home life by choice to those mothers who have no choice but to work and raise their kids. I do not blame Ann Romney for her choice it's nice she has that choice but many of us do not and scrape by the skins of our teeth to feed & keep a roof over our families head. Has Ann ever had that problem? Probably not, so I wish she Mitt would stop acting like his wife has some insight on how all women think.

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