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The GEM Debate: Yeah, But Is It REALLY Work?

There’s no question that women are certainly playing a critical role in this election cycle and this issue was catapulted into the spotlight again yesterday. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is trying to counter polls that show him as being out of touch with women. In an effort to do that, he talks a bit about his wife of 38 years, Ann, frequently saying he relies on her to tell him about the issues that concern women most (by way of background, Ann Romney was a stay at home mother who raised five boys).

That did not go over well with Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen who made some pretty hot remarks on AC 360 last night.

 

 

Soon after, Rosen took to her Twitter to clarify.


@AnnDRomney I am raising children too. But most young American women HAVE to BOTH earn a living AND raise children. You know that don’t u?

Ann Romney joined Twitter last night to leave her own response.

 

I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.

This argument is frustrating and not even remotely ground-breaking. This is the 2012 political version of the Stay-at-home-Mom versus Work-outside-the-Home debate that has been raging on ever since women first punched a time clock. I talked about it on Anderson not that long ago and frankly, it’s exhausting.

So here’s Good Enough Mother’s take:

First, raising kids is damn hard work. I don’t care if you work outside the home or not, make a million dollars a year or not, the fact is there are things about this job (and yes, though a labor of love, it’s still a job) that are paralyzing in their difficulty. Name one other profession where the stakes are higher, where the potential to leave such an indelible mark on another human being is so great. Go on..I’ll wait.

Having said that, Ann Romney had a choice to stay home, one she mentioned in her second tweet.

I’ll be with @marthamaccallum this morning at 10:40 discussing Hilary Rosen’s comments. All moms are entitled to choose their path.

 

Absolutely! All moms SHOULD be able to choose their own paths, that is right out of the Good Enough Mother playbook. Unfortunately, that is not reality. 60% of US women work outside the home and it’s not a choice for all of them.

I admire Ann Romney for staying at home and raising her boys. That’s awesome and without a doubt hard work. But Ann Romney is also fortunate; she was able to concentrate much of her energy on that task, albeit a big one. She didn’t have to worry about that AND potentially losing her job, what to do when a kid is sick, how to afford after school care, how to make meals stretch until the next paycheck or if there would be money for college and her retirement. Please understand, I am not faulting her; I’m merely stating what is a reality for so many women, the one writing this post included. Every, single one of those things steals sleep from me nightly.

I get what Ann Romney is saying but I LIVE Hilary Rosen’s point. I’m not going to judge Romney and assume that her wealth makes her job as a mother any more difficult than the one I do. But if there’s anything we could give to one another, I would say it’s the gift of understanding. If we want to stop the so-called, “War on Women” how about we, as women, put our weapons down first?

That’s my take, what about you? Do you agree with Hilary Rosen’s point? How about Ann Romney’s take raising kids being hard work? And Good Enough Mother TV Alert.. I’ll be on CNN today at 1pm EST talking about this very issue so tune in!

More from GEM:

Ask The Good Enough Guy: How Do I Fall Back In Love With My Husband?

The GEM Debate: David Beckham’s, Er, Bone Of Contention

Hey Mom! How About You Just.Say.No?

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