Apr. 19th, 2012

mituns: (Default)
...because saying things like that, he'd surely get laughed out of here!

Recently, the "comedian" Bill Maher made the comment about Ann Romney that she's not had to get out the door at 7am for work. (No, I'm not using some of the more "colorful" language.) This comes on the heels of another Democrat operative, Hilary Rosen, claiming that Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life", despite being the full-time mother to five boys.

As I said before, these comments would be hilarious were it not for the fact that these people, even if they don't believe them, expect others to.

In the ensuing furor which has surrounded these comments, nearly everyone involved has made the admission that, of course, being a mother is hard work, but the debate then swirls around to how that compares to the hard work of the career world.

One of the things that is so very striking about human children is how much help they need and how long they need this help. Tabitha is a very independent child, and at two, she has a lot of motor control and has a huge vocabulary, but if you leave her alone in a house, she can't take care of herself for more than a few minutes at a time because she has no common sense. If she finds food, she'll pick the ice cream over vegetables every time. Asher is acquiring more motor skills, but he'll choke on the first thing that he can get undetected into his mouth, including candy wrappers and his sister's barrettes. This isn't even mentioning the fact that as both of them are in diapers, both need help in that respect.

As their mom, a good portion of my day is devoted to just the essentials of raising children. As more people had children around them, this was once much better understood. Even in those "repressive" shows of yesteryear, mothers were not portrayed as people who sat around and did nothing while the children moved around them, but rather as busy people who had to take care of their homes and family.

However, as we as a society separate motherhood from actually caring for children, the perception of value falls, because we're saying that caring for children is something practically anyone can do. I feel like crying when I see the signs for daycare providers advertising placements for children from "6 weeks to 6 years". I know people who have done daycare, and who love the children they take care of dearly. Nevertheless, daycare is not the best place for little kids.

Now Bill Maher tries to say that Ann Romney doesn't know what it's like to have to be out of the door by 7am for a job. Has he had to be responsible for anyone else besides himself when he's going out the door? How about getting five little boys ready for school by a certain time? When I leave to go somewhere, not only have I had to have taken care of myself, but I've had to find outfits, socks, shoes, sippy cups, snacks, diapers, etc. for two other people. For people who have their children in daycare, not only are they trying to make that 7am deadline themselves, but they're probably trying to get two or three or four people ready to go by 6:30am, so that there's enough time to drop the kids off at daycare first. If the kids are cranky or don't want to get up or get dressed, that's too bad because there's a schedule to adhere to here, and mommy's boss might not understand why she's late again and feeling terrible because her two or three-year old doesn't want her to leave for the day.

My kids drive me nuts sometimes. They need a lot of help. I'm only starting to be able to carry on conversations with my oldest. However, my husband and I are doing the things necessary so that I can stay home with them during the day because we believe it's the best for our kids. I don't get paid, and there are a lot of things, like picking up the living room floor for the 10th time that day, that I don't really need my college education for. It still is work though, and it doesn't run on a 9-5 schedule with nights, weekends, and vacations off. I'll be here when I'm sick or injured, or when one of them starts crying at 2am... and 4am... and 5am... The reason why these comments have gotten so much attention is because they are so ridiculous, and thankfully, most people in the US still have some understanding of the work it is to be a mother.


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