The “mommy war” has once again been waged with Hilary Rosen firing the first shot by saying that Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life” and “never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”
But she lacked precision because it wasn’t just Ann Romney who was hit instead Rosen fired a scattershot that pierced every stay-at-home mom, making her feel inadequate, ignorant and disregarded.
Women have fought, throughout our history in this country, a long and hard battle for their rights and their freedom of choice including but not limited to the currently most controversial right to either have a career outside of the home or to rear their children.
And women have had many opponents in this war but none so fierce as other women. The stay-at-home moms accuse the working moms of neglect and the working moms accuse the stay-at-home moms of laziness.
We criticize one another’s choices in order to defend our own but the only ones asking women to defend their choices are other women. Consequently, women are limiting themselves and their choices by not excepting each other’s decisions.
Too often, the working mom must apologetically admit that she loves her job and the stay-at-home mom feels as though she must defend her reasons for not working. Who asks for this justification? Other women.
Perhaps we point the finger at each other because of our own insecurities. Maybe we feel the guilt of our inadequacies every day. It is possible that we feel unsure of our own choices.
But what we should actually tell each other instead is that we fought hard to have these choices and we each do the best we can. After all, no one knows or understands more about the difficulty women face making these choices and living with these choices than other women.
So Women—try to understand one another, try to support one another because in doing so we will win the biggest battle we have had to face in this war, the one with one another.
In the words of Khalil Gibran, “When we turn to one another for counsel we reduce the number of our enemies.”
Causes Sherry Parnell Supports
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International