You vs. You

being a momAs the self proclaimed queen of sticking my foot in my mouth, I’ve cringed every time I’ve read anything about the recent Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney dust up. If you haven’t heard, Hilary Rosen wrote a tweet that has sparked a controversy all over the internet and according to the media, a mommy war.

Please. Just… Please.

What was the tweet? Rosen tweeted, “His [Romney’s] wife 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.” Many people immediately took this as an affront to stay at home mothers, which is unfortunate because then the point Rosen was trying to make was totally missed.

The point here is that two people, Ann and Mitt Romney, who were both raised by affluent parents and that have never had to struggle economically in their lives have no idea what it is like for the average American to get by on a day to day basis. Ann Romney has never had to worry about how a pound of pinto beans could feed her family for three days. She’s never stood in a parking lot crying realizing she has no way to pick up her children after the repo man took her car. She has never felt the sharp judgment of a cashier as she handed over WIC cards or food stamps. She’s never had to juggle her bills to be sure that everything would get paid or hoped that the water company would give her just one extra week to make a payment. Or a myriad of other things that the average to low income person goes through every single day of their lives.

None of that means that Ann Romney is not a good mother. I’m sure she has wiped her share of bottoms, kissed tons of booboos (she does have FIVE boys), nursed a fever during the middle of the night, worried over whether her kids would be bullied, checked enough homework to make your eyes swim, rocked five babies to sleep, simultaneously wept and cheered over first steps, and hoped, prayed, and worried that she was doing everything she could to be the best mother possible. Of course she has. Because she is a mother, and that is what we ALL do. Whether we stay at home, work at home or work outside the home. We are all the same.

I’m so tired of these so called mommy wars. You want to know where the real mommy wars rage? Within ourselves. This is really a fight of you vs. you. I know that I’ve had my share of guilt and doubt over every single decision that I’ve made as a mother. That is why when someone questions one of my choices, whether it be to co-sleep, vaccinate, not breastfeed, etc., my chest immediately puffs up and I go on the defensive. Why? Because someone else is voicing my internal doubts and I feel like I have to justify my decisions to the world. Because if I don’t then I’ve failed.

Most mothers I know, most women in fact, do not battle it out with one another. We love and support, encourage and nurture each other. Because that’s what we do. We are mothers to our very core and it is just our nature to care for others. Is there the odd one out that is always criticizing and passing judgment? Of course there is. But just imagine the war that she is waging within herself. If she is trying so hard to convince the world that she is 100% right, then just imagine how hard she is trying to convince herself.

Here’s the challenge… Let’s not be distracted by this. Let us keep our focus on the things that really matter to us. Our individual rights and freedoms, education, and the economy. Those are mine. Yours may be different. That’s okay. But please don’t be distracted by these non-existent mommy wars. The next time someone disagrees look at her and say, “you are a good mother. I think you are doing a good job.” Then walk away and leave it at that. And if you ever need someone to encourage you, or to remind you that YOU are a good mother, come to me. I will be more than happy to lift you up.


    • says

      Yes. I wonder about every decision I make, from the mundane like what toothpaste is best for their teeth to the extremely important like which daycare is best for them.

  1. says

    Interesting, but I have to say most of the most well-off moms I know are an example of why I can’t agree with the notion that well off moms can’t relate. Most of them are involved in many volunteer organizations to help those less fortunate groups. They use these experiences to learn and teach others and have a great frame of reference as to others’ financial situations. You don’t have to experience poverty or struggle to understand it.

    Sometimes, affluence affords women opportunities for volunteer work and committee service that really tune them into the real pulse of those less fortunate.

    I concede that there those women who do not take advantage of those opportunities to volunteer and might not have a base of reference.

    Just poking the bear and trying to show the other side . :) That’s funny we titled our posts the same!
    Jennifer Juniper recently posted…Mommy Wars – Feedback FridayMy Profile

    • says

      I think they may *think* they understand it, but until you’ve actually lived it there is no way you can grasp the fullness of it. But good for them for trying to connect with the common man. (only meant a little bit sarcastically)

    • says

      Exactly. I have never felt like I’m better than a stay at home mom because I work, and I’ve never felt like they were better than me. I think we are all great because we do what we need to do to be the best moms we can.

  2. says

    Just sitting over here an nodding along…

    I think Rosen could have chosen her words a little better so that people would not have jumped all over her but I totally get what she is saying and you got the point across beautifully.
    Elaine recently posted…"It’s No Accident" / GiveawayMy Profile

    • says

      I agree. I really wish she had just left out that one little sentence. We would be having a completely different, more productive, conversation today.

  3. says

    You have written so many incredible posts but this one gave me chills like the one you wrote about the Luna Moth (am I remembering that by the correct name?). This was straight from your heart just like that one was. It is why I love to read your blog. It is why I am proud to call you a friend. You couldn’t have done a better job on this in my opinion. Moms are moms first and foremost and we all need to be there to support and encourage each other! xo!
    Kristen recently posted…It’s Not Easy Being The OldestMy Profile

  4. says

    I don’t know about mommy wars, mostly because I wish I had more women I could relate to but the only women I have contact with are SAHMs. Not by choice, but simply by circumstance.

    I will say, someone told me recently that I should thank God I am blessed to have the luxury of staying home with my kids. That really angered me because I AM blessed, but staying home is definitely not a luxury – it involves lots of hard choices and tons of hard work and her comment to me was said in a way that inferred a lifestyle of plush. I would have a hard time finding anything plush about my life. :)
    Texan Mama recently posted…Things I Would Tell My Kids About Me If I Were Their Sibling, Not Their ParentMy Profile

    • says

      As a working mom, if I used the word luxury it would not mean that I thought about you sitting around eating bonbons and doing nothing, but more that you have the ability to have the choice at all. Of course it is a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but seriously, if I did not work, we would not have a home.

  5. says

    Bravo! This is so true. I agree that until these affluent women know what it is like to struggle as many of us do then they have no right to tell us how they can relate to us. But then again I also think that we should stop judging everyone so yeah I kind of feel like a hypocrite.

    I also think that a lot of these mommy wars spring out of jealousy. The grass always seems greener on the other side. No matter how cliche that saying is, it is true in many cases.
    Jayme (The Random Blogette) recently posted…Sweet Or Salty Tooth? No Problem!My Profile

    • says

      Yes. Exactly! It always makes me feel a little hypocritical as well, but for real… none of those women stayed up late making peanut brittle all night after working a full day so their daughter could go to drill team camp like my mom did.

  6. says

    Okay, here I go- first let me say, I do agree- so much of our internal conflicts as mothers does come from within ourselves. We are often our own worst enemies and by that will feel like we need to defend ourselves and sometimes it leads to belittling others to try and make ourselves feel better- which is sad and awful. I try- but do not always succeed at remembering, you just never know what that person is going through.
    Her comment about Ann did not come on a tweet but was on television. And yes, most people jumped on it and missed her point. But really is there ever going to be a politician who truly understands what it is like to have to work every day just to make it? How many politicians that serve on a national level come from that? There might be a few, but especially those that make it to a national level have grown up in well educated, college educated families. So if people are trying to discredit her because she doesn’t understand, well I challenge you to find a politician who really does.
    And you state not to judge and just let us feel loved as mothers- yet your reply to Jennifer Juniper seems to have a very underlying tone of nice of them for trying but it still doesn’t count- so aren’t you in turn judging those moms who maybe did grow up and are living a “life of privilege”.
    When it comes down to it there are hard things, crappy things and wonderful things no matter how your life is. Yes, I will not pretend that being financially secure doesn’t help alleviate some stress- as it does. But if you want to say you want to end this fake war- than that means including all moms even the wealthy ones.
    Emmy recently posted…Things Mothers HearMy Profile

    • says

      I have to agree, and we all have to remember that the kids in question are grown adults now and both of these ladies in question, Ann and Hilary, “work”. It’s just that one of them earns a paycheck for it.

      I think work is work whether you get paid for it or not and I can’t name many 1st ladies that came from underprivileged backgrounds that helped them truly relate to a lower class’ needs in a first hand way.

      Most of the programs that help those in need depend on volunteers or they could not exist. I don’t think any of them would accuse a volunteer of “trying to connect with the common man” and turn them away from helping just because they have, or were raised with, money. These are the experiences that absolutely help them relate.
      Jennifer Juniper recently posted…Confessions…My Profile

      • says

        I agree that work is work. Absolutely. Also I don’t think the not understanding is linked to just Ann Romney or one political side. I don’t think anyone from an affluent background can understand/know what it is like to be lower to middle income. They can empathize, but they can not understand.

        As someone from a very poor background it is extremely patronizing to me that someone would think because they volunteer they can know what it was like to grow up the way I did. They can’t. And I don’t care what their political background is. I think the difference is that Democrat policies have traditionally been more beneficial to lower and middle income America. In my opinion of course.

    • says

      I absolutely do want to include all moms. If her intention was to slam Ann Romney for not earning a paycheck then she was wrong.

      I think there are two separate issues that are getting squished together. One is the SAHM vs the WOHM mom, and the other is whether or not an affluent person can understand what it is like to live as a lower to middle income family.

      As for as the SAHM vs WOHM issue. I believe what I wrote above. We all deserve respect and admiration for whatever decision we make whether we live below the poverty line or in the so called 1%. I think this “war” is being used by the media to stir controversy and increase ratings. Pitting women against own another for their mothering choices is wrong regardless of what political side you are on. I don’t like it.

      As for as the issue of affluent people understand what it is like to be lower to middle class, I stand by my statement that they can not. I feel like they can empathize, but until you’ve lived something you aren’t going to get it. I have a friend that is a military wife. I can listen to her stories. I can support her, but I will never understand what it is like for my husband to go off on missions or what it is like to live the military lifestyle without actually living it.

      I feel like someone telling me that they get it because they volunteer is extremely patronizing. Until you (the collective form) have had a mom stay up all night making peanut brittle after working all day just to be able to send you to drill team camp, don’t tell me you get it. You don’t. And that is regardless of political affiliation. The difference when it comes to politics is that democrat policies tend to be more beneficial to lower and middle income America. In my opinion of course.