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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