Monday, May 7, 2012

The Mom Wars--One Mom's Take

Hi Everyone,

Have the rest of you been watching all the political commentary on the "Mom Wars" recently? I wouldn't say I've been paying close attention, as I figure politicians will always find a way to argue with each other, just as they'll always find a way to tax either you or your neighbor, but as I maintain a blog written for stay-at-home and work-at-home mom's I thought I'd weigh in.

This whole war was apparently reignited in mid April, when CNN commentator Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life."

Ouch! Um, perhaps the commentator didn't know that Ann Romney has FIVE (yes five, count them if you wish) boys. Not only that, but all five of these boys appear to be nice, hardworking, upstanding citizens. All of them are married. And four of them are now raising their own children.

Politics aside, the Romney family creates a nice family image, a image that  that I hope to one day emulate. And as a mom who feels suicidal some days as I try to raise only two boys, I have to wonder how on earth Ann Romney managed five of them. But I can guarantee you this:

Raising five boys was hard work for Ann Romney. And raising one child is hard work for any mother.

Perhaps Ann Romney had more money than I do as she raised her boys. Well, actually, there's no perhaps about it. I KNOW her hubby made (and still makes) more money in one year than probably will over his entire lifetime. And while it's nice to dream about buying a big house and adding a chef and maid to our household so that I don't have to cook or clean, cooking and cleaning don't comprise the bulk of raising children.

Teaching and instructing your children is far more important than what your family eats for dinner on any given night, or how how much dust is laying on top of your window moldings. 

Teaching your children to be hard workers is a difficult task for any parent. Teaching your children to pick up after themselves, to be courteous to others, to consider others' opinions and needs, to value family, etc, is all hard work for parents. And imparting those values and that high level of morality is, in my opinion, the most important part of parenting. And (contrary to political commentator Hilary Rosen's beliefs) it involves a lot of hard work. For any parent. Regardless of whether you happen to be Michelle Obama or Ann Romney. Regardless of your work schedules and household income.

Because as a parent, as a mom, YOU (and if you have a husband, him as well) have more impact and control over your children than anyone else. You will affect and shape your children in a way no one else can.

So now I'm curious about the rest of you. Do you feel that people like Ann Romney and Michelle Obama can relate to your struggles as a mother? Or do you feel that the amount of wealth in which Ann was and Michelle is able to raise her children disqualifies either of them from being an example of an average mom? When you look at a family like the Romneys, with their children fully grown and now raising children of their own, do you hope to follow their examples as far as raising children is concerned, or do you have different goals and hopes for your children twenty years down the road?


  1. I did follow the Ann Romney story but disagree on one key point: that raising children is hard work. I find it mystifying that women today say that raising children--whether they are home or work outside the home--is the hardest work they've ever done, or words to that effect.

    Our grandmothers raised more children with less and I doubt any of them would have said that raising children was hard work. Challenging at times, frustrating at times, but not truly hard work.

    IMO, parenting doesn't have to be hard. It's not super-easy, either. There's a middle ground that I think we've lost in the mommy wars, that for staying home with our children to be legit, it has to be hard work to raise children.

    As to whether Ann or Michelle can relate to the average mom, I would think in one sense yes, because we all have the same hopes that our children will turn out okay. But they just have a lot more stuff to contend with along the way.

  2. You know, Sarah, I guess I have to disagree with you. I find raising my kids very hard and very demanding. I don't know that I would say all of that is physical work (though there is a lot of housework that goes along with having kids). But so much of parenting is also mental and emotional as well. How do you teach your five year old not to get mad and respond in anger when he doesn't color a picture "right?" Figuring this stuff out is really hard for me and takes a lot of effort and diligence. Maybe moms of old had a better handle on such things?