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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nonmember avatar JB

"If you have the luxury of staying home with your children, then I can already tell you, you have more money than I do"

Not likely. I stay home because the cost of daycare was way more than I was earning. My husband & I have made many sacrifices, go without & buy second hand EVERYTHING to make it work.

"I do the same amount of housework and childrearing that a SAHM does"

No, you don't. During the hours you work, your home is not being used, your children are in the care of someone else, someone else is feeding, diapering, washing, playing, educating. I clean at least 2x a much now than when I was a working mom and am with my children 24/7. Working moms have job responsibilities & parenting responsibilities & home responsibilities. SAHMs also have a "job" - all that stuff that your daycare does with/for your children? That's the stuff SAHMs do.

but I have to work for a living as a single mother."

A single parent, hands down, hast it the hardest, most stressful, most difficult. We ALL work for a living - we just all do it differently.

Working mom vs stay at home mom? Both work equally hard. "Wealthy" mom with full time nannies, cooks, house keepers, etc, etc, etc bitching about how hard they have it? *eye roll*

Donald Rappe

Yes, this is a distraction. It has no relationship at all to the duties of the President.

chels... chelseamckell

The fact that they're so successful and wealthy makes having Romney as President sound all that much more appealing!  He knows how to make good choices, obviously!  GO MITT  2012 !!

Ednar... Ednarooni160

Having stayed up nights helping my  husband figuring out bills, doing  proposals at 2 a.m. in the morning, while being a stay at home mom, starting with basically nothing and ending up with something only to be facing this economy, we can't really "judge" Mrs. Romney.  We are not privy to what she does for her husband and/or his business's behind the scenes especially from years back.


Becky Lindenmayer

This is so typical of women tearing each other down because of jealousy and envy! Each and every woman makes choices that affect their families. We should support each other instead of comparing ourselves. Women please don't give into your naggy, whiny selves. Stop beating each other up. Just because a person has money doesn't mean they can't understand the struggles of people who aren't as well off. No one should feel guilty about having money, unless it was gotten by illegal means!!!

Be thankful for what you have, work hard, make good choices, and try and help others. Everyone would be better off if they focused on these things instead of tearing others down.

tevya13 tevya13

I agree 100% with Becky!

nonmember avatar Anon NY

By the same vein adult children of politicians who have "earned" their money won't be able to understand most Americans because they were born into it - think Kennedys and Clintons, so they'll need to stay in the private sector. Does that make sense? You know what makes more sense? The Romneys are the epitome of what some Americans believe to be the entitled rich. Fine, just say it. Don't pussyfoot around the issue, just say it. This other garbage is just chatter. No one wants to mention the Clintons, who bought a house in one of the wealthiest towns in westchester with some of the highest taxes in the country so she could run for senate. Is that someone who knows how much a gallon of milk costs or how hard it is to choose which bills to pay each month? Nope, but it's somehow different because their politics are left. Lucky us, this election is just warming up. Wait until actual issues start getting discussed.

nonmember avatar Anon

So does that mean Obama's #1 advisor re women/economy is a poor single waitress supporting two kids? Because we all know that all Democratic politicians get all their advice from people we all can "relate" to, right? BTW, aren't most women straight? Then why is this gay woman (Rosen) qualified to comment on what women want? Per her own statement, if you haven't lived what we've lived, you can't relate so you should shut up.

Adrian O'Brien

But just to be fair, Hilary is a single mom after her seperation from her partner, but she wasn't always. They both didn't HAVE to work like some moms who would love to stay at home. (no judgement though... to each their own) So you can't really compare Rosen either.  The statement was highly thrown out of context... she was talking about Romneys inexperience with the business world, not that stay at home moms aren't in touch with the 'real world'.  I am a SAHM but I was an Engineer before hand.  I know more about economics than sweet girl who waited on me at Bob Evans. She is a working mom and I, stay at home. (because I can and want to)  Obviously Rosen would have nothing to say to me. Lets call this what it is: a statement pointing out one person's ineptness in business... not bashing moms who stay at home.

nonmember avatar sara

J, just because a woman is a stay at home mother, doesn't mean that the family makes a lot of money. I am a SAHM because I cannot afford to work outside the home. The cost of childcare, gas, a second car payment, etc would eat up literally every dollar and then some. So it would actually be a luxury for me to work. I am not interested in the mommy wars, but it really bugs me when someone assumes that if you are a SAHM it is because money is abundant.

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