I very rarely get angry enough to comment on this blog when it comes to political things. However, when I feel as though my family and myself are being attacked, well - that's one reason for me to say a few words.
I am a stay at home mother of five, one with special needs (she’s profoundly hearing impaired). We made the decision for me to stay home with our children 11 years ago when our daughter was two. Up until then, my husband stayed home during the day and attended classes as his schedule permitted as he worked toward his bachelor’s degree in engineering.
My job as a stay at home mom has never been easy. In fact, I feel as though my job is more difficult than any office job I’ve ever held. The pressure to do everything right is stronger and more prevalent in this job because if I make a mistake, there is no compensation that can be made to rectify it. If I make a mistake in the rearing of my children, their life is forever changed.
It hasn’t always been easy. In fact, there were times we weren’t sure how we were going to make the house payment/car payment/ buy groceries. We made sacrifices. We lived on Ramen noodles or peanut butter on homemade bread to stretch the grocery budget. My husband drove a car that had no air conditioning - in the summer in the state of Arizona where it reaches nearly 125 degrees daily - back and forth to work so that we could save money for other essentials. I have stayed home, day in and day out caring for our children – with little to no adult conversation or support during the day while my husband worked. I took on the role of managing our household finances, watching the budget, the shopping, the cleaning – all of the things that you believe that women in my position have no idea about. The truth is, at any given moment, I may know volumes more about how much it costs to raise a family and how tough the financial strain can be than my husband does. I know what it is like to live in this real world, even though I may not work outside of the home.
The rewards for our sacrifices far outweigh the trials, however. Our hearing-impaired child who we were told would always been in special needs classes and would always have to have an aid with her in school and who would never speak clear English was able to undergo intense therapy with me at her side daily and is now the top of her class in a mainstream school where most of the students don’t even know she is deaf. I was able to be there when my second daughter took an interest in writing and reading – at the age of three. I am able to help raise my children as responsible citizens of this country and the world simply because we made the choice for me to be there.
I’m not saying that women who work out of the home aren’t able to accomplish many of the same things. This was the decision that was right for our family. I am however disgusted and appalled and hurt and embarrassed by your comments. You have chosen to alienate an entire community of women and at the same time make those of us who have been extremely proud of our accomplishments in our own families to feel as though we are less of a woman, or less of a human being because of our choices. I’d love to somehow ban the phrase “just a mom” – it’s demeaning to the women who have made this choice, and especially demeaning to the women who think that is all they do. Ms. Roesen, you should understand that you've not only offended Mrs. Romney, but according to the 2010 census – you've alienated and offended 5 million women nationwide who have made the decision to be home with their children as their primary occupation.
I would love to talk to you and ask you this question – I don’t have the wealth that the Romney’s have. I don’t have any in-home help. I have not worked outside of the home for 10+ years. I stay home with my children. Do I not understand the rising costs and what it is like to live in this world and in this economy simply because I do not draw a paycheck with my own name on it? Do you honestly believe that I am out of touch with the financial climate? Do you think that I’ve never once made the decision to go without healthcare or dental care or even physical comforts because I am a stay at home mom? Have I never sacrificed anything simply because I chose to take the career path of mom?
I know what it is like in this world, Ms. Rosen. I’ve suffered and sacrificed because of this administration and the changes they’ve made. I’ve put off health care due to rising costs only to have to pay 10 times the amount for a surgery than I would have paid before federal health care changes started to affect the insurance plan we are fortunate to have through my husband’s employer. Do not for one minute tell me or any other stay at home mom that we do not know what it is like to work and definitely do not tell us we do not understand the political financial issues. We do, Ms. Rosen. We live them each and every day. I invite you to come live my life, just for a week – or even one day. You, yourself have said that there are women out there who are not a woman of “some means” such as yourself struggling in this economy and that Obama and the DNC can help them. Come live MY life Ms. Rosen and see what Obama and the DNC have done for me. I have a strong suspicion you aren’t woman enough to do it.