Have a seat Ann Romney. No seriously, you deserve to sit down after the hard life you’ve had to endure raising five boys and supporting your family while your husband pursued his career. Your fight with multiple sclerosis and precancer earns you an even softer chair in which to have a seat. I applaud any mother who puts their own personal interests aside for the good of their family, because putting yourself last is a difficult and occasionally noble, decision to make. Our political views, race, and economic status separates us, but the tie that binds us – motherhood – is something that will never end. It’s too bad that you don’t realize, Ann Romney, that your struggles don’t exactly put all of us mothers in the same place. I will never demean what you have had to overcome, but you must understand why many of us believe you need way more people to make us believe how hard your life actually was. Right now, you don’t have enough.
The choice to have five children and live your life as a homemaker rests solely on you and your husband (and God, if you will…which I know you will). Many mothers don’t have a choice about their situations. Some of us were thrust into single motherhood unexpectedly due to circumstances we could have never imagined. Some of us are forced to work because our spouses can not find employment. Some of us only have one child with a disability so debilitating, we are forced to stay home to raise him or her. Many of us don’t have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom by choice, but are STILL faced with the responsibilities of being a mother. We don’t have the privilege of being able to witness every developmental milestone of our children’s lives; sometimes they say their first word or take their first step while we’re at work or asleep between the two jobs we work. Some of us don’t have a choice about the situations that we are placed in, but we make do with the resources we have. A husband with the ability to support the entire family on his own isn’t always one of those resources.
Being a stay-at-home mother is a luxury and a privilege that not everyone has. Attending Harvard is not a privilege that everyone has. Owing horses valued at a $250,000 is not a privilege that everyone has. Hell, being a mother at all is not a privilege that everyone has. Wanting the rest of us to understand and empathize with your struggle is a bit of a joke with your “women at home work” belief as the biggest punchline. Being a working mother is difficult – mentally, physically, and emotionally. The day I returned to work after maternity leave was the saddest day of my life. Funny thing is, I didn’t stop being a mother because I was teaching a group of kindergarteners that weren’t my own child. I wish I could appreciate the struggle of stay at home mothers just a little bit more. I really wish I could, but I guess I have that working mother struggle holding me back. Until you’ve driven to work in tears, 20 minutes late because it was so hard to say goodbye, your stay at home mother struggle means nothing to me. Not a single bit. I’m not saying the struggle doesn’t exist, I’m simply saying you’re going to need way more people to convince me to feel sorry for you.