Monday, April 30, 2012

Hilary Rosen vs. Sylvia the Bird

I may be a Mormon but I'm going to kick her ass.
I do not care much for Hilary Rosen.

You remember her. She's the snarkmeister who recently accused Anne Romney, who successfully raised five sons, of "never having worked a day in her life."

I did some half-assed research on her and read some things she'd written for the Huffington Post and while she has attained certain professional levels which I, admittedly, envy -- as in she gets paid for her writing -- I am not impressed.

Hilary, defending herself on cable news.

Ms. Rosen has attempted, in the most condescending way possible, to defend her statement but, to even whisper that an at-home mother doesn't "work" is unacceptable...and ludicrous.

It's no secret that raising a family is incredibly difficult. Plus, while you are on-duty 24/7, it is also a position without financial compensation.

Are there other pay-offs? Of course. But I am talking cash money here, people. Mama sometimes needs a new pair of sweatpants, after all.

I will not pretend to know who takes care of  Ms. Rosen's kids and that's not the point.  I am also well aware of the tough road faced by mothers who work outside the home but I'll bet that, throughout Ms. Rosen's career, she has gone out to a few nice lunches, strolled to the bathroom for a leisurely pee, and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee -- and, possibly, a bear claw -- at her desk.

At-home mothers frequently drink their coffee cold, get Play-doh in their hair and often are unsuccessful when attempting to schedule a time slot for a shower. They're not asking for special accolades but want you to know that what  they do is not only work but often grueling, disturbing and, at certain times, may or may not involve getting actual crap under their fingernails.

But I digress. Allow me to revisit Sylvia the Bird,  a robin who built a nest under my deck a few weeks ago.

Her eggs hatched this past weekend and, I can guarantee that Sylvia-- herself a stay-at-home mother of three to five, did not realize what she was getting herself into.

Sylvia may have thought that keeping her eggs warm was hard work. After all, you have to sit on them most of the time and this can be extremely limiting. Maybe she thought things would be easier once they hatched, imagining herself having a few minutes for a wing stretch or a relaxed mid-flight poop over the swing set.

I'd ask her if I could but Sylvia's life has changed since the kids have arrived and she's rarely around.

Apparently, all she does is search for worms and bugs to feed the babies. She is forever in the yard, pecking at the ground and, upon finding an nourishing morsel for the hungry beaks waiting at home, drops the stuff off and immediately returns to the search.

This goes on all day. Every day. There is no time for preening, dust baths in the sunshine or more than a quick sip of water from the birdbath.
Lunchtime for the Silverstones

And we all know what happens when those peeping fools reach maturity.

Unlike the insane Alicia Silverstone who prechews her baby's food and spits it into his mouth (ewwwwwwwwwwww), once the little ones fly the nest, Sylvia will not be able to go to a spa or have an expensive feather-lift so she can feel better about herself.

Chances are, unless Sylvia can resist that handsome fellow with the puffed out-chest and the large beak, it will all start again.

If Sylvia could say something to Hilary Rosen, it would not be pleasant. In fact, it might involve a bit of attempted eye-pecking.

I agree, wholeheartedly with Sylvia.


  1. ALicia Silverstone. Icky. Yucky. Nutty.

  2. Yikes, I don't know who you know that is a mother that works. I have been a teacher and a nurse and I NEVER get to go to the bathroom, have a cup of coffee or go to a fancy lunch. I never even have one moment of silence or leisure. As a nurse, sometimes I would get a tray of food from someone that had been discharged or a soggy something I had brought from home. As a teacher I always ate both breakfast and lunch at my desk. I went in as early as I could so that I could get extra done and had to rush out at exactly the correct minute to meet my kids' bus. I think I will soon be in adult depends because I have held it so long for so many years that I think I have ruined my bladder. I even worked at one school where I had to bring my own toilet paper. I know that at home moms work hard, I am home now, having retired finally and still have young ones, but let me tell you very clearly, there is no comparison, none at all, to the work that you must do when you work full time. I had to do everything for the house after I came home from work. I still don't sit around and enjoy myself but I am not the insane person trying to get it all done that I was before. I have even watched a TV show or two in the last two years since I retired, not many but a few. There may be some women out there in the executive suites that are enjoying their work life but most of us are toiling in the trenches, trying to get baby vomit off our clothes and keep our jobs while managing kids that are home sick or have snow days and there is no coverage for them. I never took a day off for me being sick, had to save them all for the kids. And I never went to a show, a breakfast, a birthday party or anything at my kids school because I couldn't get the day off as a teacher. It really stinks. I went to my first kids birthday party when my youngest was 8 and I was so happy to be able to attend without feeling so terribly stressed that I had to call in sick. I do not think Ann Romney has any idea what it means to be a working mom, or a mom that has money concerns. Life as a working mom is very hard, stay at homes work too no doubt, but it can't be as hard as having to do both jobs.

  3. Dear Anon, I hear you and was not attempting to compare at-homers with working moms (and I know many who have experienced your situation)or, even defend Mrs. Romney,specifically. My intention was, and is, to snap people out of the concept that being an at-home mother is not work. It's hard and lonely and done for free unless you count hugs.

    I appreciate your comment immensely and salute you for what you do every day.

  4. I have always been a working mom and have been criticized every day for it. I also have never had a leisurely lunch or a hot cup of coffee. I'm running from home to work, work to home, picking up kids and being thrown in 50 thousand directions. Believe me, working moms understand the plight of a at-home mom because we see both sides. (I also understand the nurse's comments above as I worked as a nurse for 22 years.)
    However, a working- outside- the -house mom has one more thing on her plate. Something that even in this day and age people still criticize us for even though it is usually not a choice. Employers are usually not understanding with a working mom's family obligations either.
    Nothing will change until women stop criticizing each other choices.

  5. Well said, Michele. Again, I am not criticizing a choice. I am criticizing a criticism.

    Thanks for reading the blog!

  6. I agree with Anon. I'm a working mom. My husband and I both work for ourselves, which means we have to work ouble hard to generate a pay check. Ann Romney has no idea what it's like to worry about not being able to come up with your grocery budget or a mortgage payment. Most women who stay at home, do so because they can afford to and would rather be home then at work all day. I wish I could stay home. Then maybe I could wash my kitchen floors before midnight and eat dinner at a normal hour. Being a working mom who has to do everything a stay at home mom does, ontop of her other full time job, is much more demanding.

  7. As I sid to Anon, Chiara, I get it. Your day sounds like a whirlwind of demands that intensify when you get home.

    My point remains that staying at home with the kids is intense, hard work, often thankless.

    Thanks for your comment.

  8. My mom has both worked and been at home. She did what she had to do and what worked. In either case, the choice was one that was right for herself and the family. One of my aunts has always held her career, which is good because, unfortunately, she was widowed some years back and left alone to care for her child.

    With my career choice, I'll likely be an at-work mom. I'm lucky that I have a fiance who's very understanding of my choice and has reassured me that the bulk of the housework will not fall to me (he's probably neater than me anyway). I'm also lucky that times are changing for me and that a lot of the organizations I hope to work for offer paid parental leave, emergency day care, etc. Having a good career is important to me and I would like my daughters to see what it's like. I would also like my sons to see that men do their fair share of housework and child rearing.

    That said, none of these criticisms are fair. At home mamas do a large burden of work, often keep the house together (esp. when hubby goes on business trips) and don't get much in the way of compensation. At work mamas get accused of being materialistic, not raising their children, and not "appreciating their womanhood." No one is better than the other and people need to not say anything if they can't say anything nice.