Hilary Rosen, a Democratic adviser, created quite a stir earlier this year with her comments concerning Ann Romney, the wife of GOP nominee Mitt Romney. She said that Mrs. Romney “Has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and why do we worry about their future.”
This comment was in response to Mitt Romney saying that his wife had relayed the economic concerns of women around the country to him. Since Tracy, my wife, was a stay-at-home mom for seven years before going back to work teaching pre-k last fall, I definitely have an opinion about what Mrs. Rosen said.
She is correct that Mrs. Romney chose not to have a paying job and, instead, elected to stay home and raise her 5 children. However, if the Romney’s are anything like the Kofke’s, Mrs. Romney has worried about feeding her kids, sending them to school and about their future. Even though I was the only income earner in our family for a number of years, Tracy contributed more to our financial success than words alone can relate.
As a school teacher, I earn a set salary each month. There are ways I can earn more but, for the most part, we just went off what I was guaranteed each month. Tracy knew exactly how much we had to spend each month and had to stretch each dollar as far as she could. She often walked around the grocery store with a calculator so she would not go over the allotted amount we had to spend on a given week. So I would say she was worried about how to feed our girls as healthy as possible while staying on a budget.
Tracy also played a major role in figuring out where we should send our daughters to school. We actually had both of our daughters attend pre-k when they turned three to help them be ahead of the game and learn socialization skills. They only went two mornings per week, but Tracy spent hours researching the best possible options for them. In addition, the school we selected was around 15 miles from our house so Tracy drove a total of 60 miles on those days to drop them off and pick them up. To say that a stay-at-home mom doesn’t care about their kids’ schooling was not a correct assumption in our family.
Finally, Tracy always worries about Ava’s and Ella’s futures. In fact, sometimes I think she puts too much pressure on herself and worries too much. She is a GREAT mother but sometimes thinks some of the things she does is going to negatively impact them in the future. Since she is the one that has spent the majority of time with them molding them into the wonderful women she wants each of them to become, she feels the pressure to make this happen more than I will ever understand. I think most stay-at-home moms feel this way too.
I understand where Mrs. Rosen was coming from but her comments show why it is unwise to make blanket statements. Yes, stay at home moms face different pressures than working moms but they still face many challenges. In fact, sometimes I think it might be harder to be a stay-at-home mom than a working one since they do many jobs but do not get a paycheck. See this post: How Much Salary Should a Stay at Home Mom Earn?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you feel stay-at-home moms have to deal with the economic issues many of us are facing?