The Oppressed Lives of Stay-at-Home Moms

mom

When Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney had “actually never worked a day in her life,” she probably didn’t expect the reaction her comment would generate. Defenders of Ms. Rosen have tried to convince us that she misspoke or we misunderstood.

One might excuse Ms. Rosen if she were a neophyte to the political scene, but Hilary Rosen is a nationally recognized political strategist and an on-air contributor at CNN. She has visited the Obama White House over 30 times and met with the president five times. She knew what she was saying.

The problem is that in the circles in which she travels there is nothing controversial about Ms. Rosen remarks. She simply revealed what the modern radical feminists think about stay-at-home moms.

Feminist icon, Simone de Beauvoir told Betty Friedan: “No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

Feminist Ellen Herman explained the roots of modern feminism: “… the family – especially, the western patriarchal, bourgeois, and child-centered, nuclear family – as the most important source of women’s oppression.”

Heidi Hartmann, director of the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), expressed a clear antipathy to marriage and motherhood when she wrote: “The crucial elements of patriarchy as we currently experience them are heterosexual marriage, female child rearing and house work, women’s economic dependence on men.”

Before she was raised to the high court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed herself on the issue of motherhood:  “Motherly love ain’t everything it has been cracked up to be. To some extent it’s a myth that men have created to make women think that they do this job to perfection.”

This anti-stay-at-home motherhood attitude can be traced all the way back to Frederick Engles, Karl Marx’s collaborator, who wrote: “… the first condition for the liberation of the wife is to bring the whole female sex back into public industry.”

Rosen is just one in a long line of radical feminists who don’t value stay-at-home moms. Lest you think that this is just the ranting of radicals, consider how our tax system discriminates against stay-at-home moms. The Child Care tax credit of up to $6,000 for two children is available only to families who pay someone outside the family to care for their children while the parents work. Care by the child’s mother – even if the father were to pay her – doesn’t count. Every pre-school child needs 24 hour care, but a family can only claim the credit if the mother has earned income.

According to radical feminist thinking, the stay-at-home mom shouldn’t get a tax credit for child care because she isn’t working. Therefore, the child care she provides is free. But there is no free lunch and no free child care. A mother, who decides that the best child care is mother care, pays a price for that decision; the entire income she would receive if she worked outside the home, plus the value of the experience and seniority she would acquire by working outside the home, plus benefits.

Mothers of pre-school children face a hard choice; go work and put their babies in day care or stay home, provide that care themselves and have less income. The feminists insist that many women have to work, but women like Ann Romney don’t know about that. I think Mrs. Romney does know about women who have been forced into the workforce because there is no support for stay-at-home moms. She knows that there are a lot of women who make serious financial sacrifices in order to stay home with their babies. The smarter, the better educated the woman, the more income she could make, the more she sacrifices to stay home. However, most of the women I know who made that choice believe it was well worth it. What is even more heroic is the woman who sacrifices all luxuries – and maybe a few necessities – so that her child can have a full-time mommy.

There are probably many more mother who would like to choose to stay at home and for whom a $6,000 tax credit might be just enough to allow them to make that choice, particularly women in low wage jobs, for whom working is hardly worth the effort when you add up the cost of daycare (even with the credit), the cost of commuting, the FICA and other deductions, the fast food meals because there is no time to cook, the hassle of getting the kids to daycare and then getting to work and then picking them up on time, and the worry about what to do when they are sick.

Therefore, I suggest that in order to introduce real pro-woman fairness, the tax code should changed to grant the same tax credit for all young children regardless of who takes care of them.

Dale O'Leary

By

Dale O’Leary is the author of The Gender Agenda and One Man, One Woman. Her blog can be found at http://daleoleary.wordpress.com/

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  • Zoë

    Amen!

  • Mark

    Amen

  • John Hinshaw

    As a man who lived through the feminist rebellion of the 70’s and 80’s, it saddens me to see so many women of that liberated generation bemoan to my wife that they wish they could be home with their children more.  They usually cite their husband’s insistence that they work as the obstacle.

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  • givelifeachance2

    The Romney’s machinations in seeming conservative probably explains the orchestrated hullabaloo about Stay-at-Home Moms.  Yes, this does assume complicity between Obomney and Robama, but after all Romney is Obama’s dream GOP nominee so why shouldn’t he have his opportunity to stage false opposition?

    Be that as it may, no opportunity to praise the sacrificial career choice of SAHM’s should be foregone.

    The picture shown above the article denotes the stereotype of the modern SAHM as someone whose role is eclipsed by technology and really just a figurehead at home.  Friedan leveraged this concept big-time and opened the door to the sex-lib decades of family decay that followed.  Nobody wanted to be seen as a June Cleaver if they could help it.

    But there is a crucial aspect of SAHMotherhood that remains unanswered (and in fact legitimized) by the technocratic state – education.  Parents who drag-and-drop their kids at government schools get what they pay for – state-programmed children. 

     Parents who contracept or abort children because they could not  afford to educate them *other* than at government school, are missing an important opportunity.  Teaching your own children is the real crux of modern SAHMotherhood and the hope for our society’s future.

    Not everyone *can* do it but those who can, homeschool.

  • AnonCath

    Oh the inconsistencies of socialism/Marxism.  We are oppressed when we stay at home but we would stay there if we are free to choose?  The same job if you get paid is valuable but otherwise is worthless?  That’s because one sends taxes to the government while the other doesn’t, that that is the measure of our worth.

    You could not pay some men enough to stay home and take care of the house and children but those same men think women want to stay home because we are lazy? Clearly those men do not like their own jobs.

    I am thinking that another homeschooling mother and I should just pay each other as daycare workers and just carry on as we do now so we can get our credit for as much time as our children spend together–that would just about be accurate.

    When I quit working full time to stay home with my kids I was making more money than my husband.  Even to cut our income in half to homeschool continues to be worth every penny.

  • anonymous

    Amen to the article, and amen to every commenter so far (even the other amen-ers—just amen, amen, amen!)
    @a8a65f75c029791f6e610c11a60bd834:disqus: I am a single, 32-year-old woman who wants nothing more than to marry a man who would “let me” stay home. They are nearly impossible to come by these days. Does anyone wonder why so many Catholic women remain single well into their 30s and 40s? Where are all the Catholic men who value marriage and family?!

  • Galena56

    Very insightful.  I agree that women who care enough for their children to stay home should not be punished for that choice; the choice to care for one’s own children should be just as important as the choice to work outside the home.   

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  • SAHWorkingMom

    issues than it did about Ann Romney, or any SAHM. I was shocked to learn that she is actually a parent! Her statements illustrated clearly how brainwashed these liberal feminists are, as they do not comprehend how contradictory their position is to the (supposed) feminist ideal. She sounded like some aging feminist radical who doesn’t understand that the world has moved on and technology now plays a large role in shaping our work lives. Doesn’t she know any mothers who both stay at home and work at home? Do those women only ‘work’ if they hire a nanny too? Further, she simultaneously insulted all women who also work outside the home by saying that raising children is not hard work! Women who go to work each day come home to work a second shift taking care of their family. And what about all the mothers who are unemployed- are they worthless human beings now? THeir are also those women who volunteer and do very important work, is that not ‘work’? Her view is an extremely narrow one. She doesn’t recognize that life changes (if you are blessed with a long one) and as humans we go through seasons where what once made sense must now be discarded for a new plan.  As a mother who both worked outside and inside the home, I can empathize with women who have to leave their babies to earn income and understand that getting out of the house can have a very therapeutic effect. But, being a full-time, homeschooling, stay-at-home mother has absolutely been the most rewarding part of my life. It stretched my intellect; challenged my problem-solving and organizational skills; taught me a great deal about budgeting and finances; forced me to learn how to achieve objectives while under stress and dealing with chaos ;-); and I acquired many new skills as a result of being a mom. All of this while I grew in my spiritual life to an extent that I do not think would have happened otherwise. I feel sorry for women like Ms. Rosen because they are robbing themselves of experiencing the fullness of being a woman, and truly embracing femininity. But that is what the Author of Lies does – he portrays evil as being good. And she has fallen for it hook, line, and sinker!

  • SAHWorkingMom

    Ms. Rosen’s comment were very simply stupid and shallow. It said more about her and her personal issues than it did about Ann Romney, or any SAHM. I was shocked to learn that she is actually a parent! Her statements illustrated clearly how brainwashed these liberal feminists are, as they do not comprehend how contradictory their position is to the (supposed) feminist ideal. She sounded like some aging feminist radical who doesn’t understand that the world has moved on and technology now plays a large role in shaping our work lives. Doesn’t she know any mothers who both stay at home and work at home? Do those women only ‘work’ if they hire a nanny too? Further, she simultaneously insulted all women who also work outside the home by saying that raising children is not hard work! Women who go to work each day come home to work a second shift taking care of their family. And what about all the mothers who are unemployed- are they worthless human beings now? Her view is an extremely narrow one. She doesn’t recognize that life changes (if you are blessed with a long one) and as humans we go through seasons where what once made sense must now be discarded for a new plan.  As a mother who both worked outside and inside the home, I can empathize with women who have to leave their babies to earn income and understand that getting out of the house can have a very therapeutic effect. But, being a full-time, homeschooling, stay-at-home mother has absolutely been the most rewarding part of my life. It stretched my intellect; challenged my problem-solving and organizational skills; taught me a great deal about budgeting and finances; forced me to learn how to achieve objectives while under stress and dealing with chaos ;-); and I acquired many new skills as a result of being a mom. All of this while I grew in my spiritual life to an extent that I do not think would have happened otherwise. I feel sorry for women like Ms. Rosen because they are robbing themselves of experiencing the fullness of being a woman, and truly embracing femininity. But that is what the Author of Lies does – he portrays evil as being good. And she has fallen for it hook, line, and sinker!

    Sorry about the previous post, I made a mistake in cutting and pasting!

  • La-Dee-Dah

    Well, I don’t think stay at home mothers (SAHMs) should be put down but they shouldn’t be constantly going around seeking praise and approval either as so many do nowadays, particularly on the internet. The problem nowadays isn’t so much 1970s era feminism (most women don’t ascribe to that), but there are some ex-feminists out there who are now very militant and prideful SAHMs (stay at home martyrs) who act as though they deserve a Congressional Medal of Honor simply because they are at home with children. I get sick of the way some of that privileged lot take to the internet to find narcissist capital by whining “being at home is the hardest job in the world.” No, it’s not! I say to them, “Oh really? Try being a single parent with LITTLE TO NO CHILD SUPPORT! Someone who has no choice but to work everyday, usually in a low paying non-status job (such as sales clerk, waitress, or receptionist) where she has to be nice to people who look down their nose at her all day long or treat her as though she were part of the furniture. Then try to go home to the “second shift” and keep house, make dinner, help kids with homework or stop their squabbles etc, figure out which bill to pay because there’s more month than money, maybe try to juggle college courses if you’re lucky enough to go to school, and try have some sort of social life and deal with your feelings of failure and loneliness because there’s no husband to help her share the load….and folks are so doggone quick to point that out (particularly in church!) When you’ve been there, done that then come talk to me about what’s “hard.” I know because I did just that for 12 years after my 9 year marriage failed and I had a six year old daughter to raise alone!

    • Robin

      I am a stay at home mom and I really admire single mothers and working mothers. It’s hard for me when my husband has to go out of town or work late. I cannot imagine having to do it, day-in and day-out alone. I have a supportive, helpful husband and there are still days when all I want to do is get in bed and pretend today never happened! =) Yes, I know some women choose to be single mothers but many, like you, did not. The church should be supporting and loving you, and other mothers like you, however we can. That is how the church in Acts was, and it thrived!
      You’ve made a great point that can be applied to how mothers speak about one another in general. We are so quick to “hate on” the mother-friend who has made a different choice. I have a working-mother girlfriend who is very quick to judge and make comments about how she “can’t believe I choose to stay home” or “we could never deprive our child of the financial opportunities we can give her” or “why did you go to college if you were just gonna stay home?” I try to support her decisions but it’s hard sometimes.
      I guess I just wish women could be encouragers! So, in closing, keep your chin up! I have a feeling your daughter is a success thanks to all your sacrifice on her behalf!

  • Maggie

    Why should anyone get tax credits for children? If you can’t afford their care, don’t have them.

    • ChristySAHM

      AMEN!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ccampinsadams Camille CampinsAdams

    I LOVE THIS! Thank you so much Dale!

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  • Bono95

    So moms now have 2 lifestyle choices. They can get up early every day, get all gussied up in makeup and a dull business dress, quick grab coffee and a bagel, maybe kiss their husbands and any awake children before running out the door, commute down to their job, slog through 8 hours of desk work broken up only by phone calls, meetings, lunch, a coffee break or 2, or otherwise dealing with all kinds of people, commute home, sit down for a sec, make or order dinner, work on any unfinished business, then finally drop into bed before repeating it all the next morning. OR…………., they can get up a little later, skip the makeup and wear whatever they want even if it’s out-of-fashion, stained a little, or doesn’t match, enjoy a relaxed breakfast and see their husband off to work and kids off to school, play with kids not in school, work on personal household projects, cook up a nice dinner and enjoy it with the rest of the family, and can stay up late reading or talking with their husbands. Choose carefully, ladies.

  • Katie

    I found a great company that focuses on living a natural and healthy lifestyle. While being able to earn an income staying home with your kids. Take a look at http://cm.momsprovide.com

  • Proud father and husband

    It saddens me to see such an active and cancerous discrimination at the taxation level against a vulnerable category of women – the stay at home moms. We have to understand that the policy of today’s governments is to discourage natural parenting and place kids in care centers that can raise the “right” kind of citizens- whatever that means for the UK government- see this article http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/uk-budget-to-deny-tax-breaks-for-stay-at-home-moms-intended-to-drive-kids-i .
    Ironically, the governments see this discrimination as an actual tool for promoting the equality between men and women, by encouraging women to work. However, it is my opinion that promoting a right should be done in a manner that does not infringe or discriminate against other and more substantial rights of women, such as the choice of a woman to parent her children. Many a study have shown that kids benefit from being raised by their own parents, and yet nobody spent a single tax dollar acting on those claims. It is as like we only care about who makes it to work on time, and couldn’t give a hoot about the core values of humanity and protecting our heritage through our children. An old teaching says that the education a child receives at home is all the child needs in life to succeed, unlike student loans and expensive child care. Bottom line is that if a tax deduction is allowed for working parents having a child in day care, it should also be allowed for parents who quit work to raise their children. That is the most expensive option in most cases, and should not be a luxury. Even in developing countries, people today get free state endorsed health care and mothers get almost a full paycheck to stay at home and raise their children for the first two years. Are we less human?
    proud father and husband to a stay at home hero.

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