In Defense of Ann Romney and All Stay-At-Home Moms

Elizabeth Field

I’m a registered Independent, but for my entire life I’ve been leaning Democrat at a 179 degree angle.

In my youthful naivety, I’ve wanted to believe that there are Americans out there who care for one another. I believe in human rights, equality across race, gender, and sexual orientation and I’m still too young to really care all that much about taxes. Or as my dad has reminded me, “I’m not a Republican because I haven’t grown up yet.”

Regardless of all this, if Ann Romney were running for president instead of her husband, she would absolutely have my vote.

However, she may have to settle for being the saving grace of his presidential campaign. During her speech at the Republican National Convention, Ann came off as trustworthy, warm, sincere–all the things her husband cannot seem to stir up.

Focusing on his charitable drives, empathy and his dedication to his faith, Ann was able to show that Mitt is actually a human and not an emotionless robot invented by the heads of the GOP (somewhat—the vote’s still out).

Many have expressed concern over both Romney’s being unaware of the economic plight of the average American family. One comment that absolutely disgusts me has been commentators and reporters arguing that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life” being a stay at home mother to five.

It was especially discouraging to hear renowned writer Elizabeth Wurtzel blaming stay at home mothers for the failure of feminism and saying “being a mother isn’t a real job—and the men who run the world know it.” –makes assumption—Feminism is having the choice to do whatever you want with your life.

And guess what? Women like Elizabeth Wurtzel telling me what to do with my life is no different than my husband telling me what to do.

I don’t think I even need to comment on motherhood “not being a real job” but whatever, I’m all riled up anyway. For the last few decades, feminist scholars have been studying the economic value of unpaid labor. Do maids, daycare personnel, and chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Emeril not hold real jobs?

I spent the last year of college working as a nanny for two hours every morning. I got paid and trust me, I deserved it.

My own mother is a stay-at-home mom who was able to raise three absolute brats into somewhat respectable human beings along with holding the positions of taxi driver, PTA Mom, soccer team mom, tutor, personal chef and 24/7 caretaker.

I’m sure that if an opportunity arose for her to take a full-time 40-hour per week job in the middle of the night while cleaning up my vomit, she would have jumped right on that train.

For many families, the cost of monthly daycare, cleaning bills and food equal or are close to one partner’s wages, so why would they go to work when they could be there every step of the way for their child?

If the opportunity arises for me, when I become a parent, to stay at home with my children while remaining fiscally stable, I will and I absolutely reserve my right to do so without the criticism of my sex.

Also let’s not forget about all of the stay-at-home dads around the world.

Are they betraying their sex and masculinity by not being flannel-wearing timber loggers or are they just doing what will most benefit their family?