Mitt Romney's wife Ann is at the center of a renewed battle in the mommy wars, which have raged since the end of the Ozzie and Harriett days. Should the leading Republican presidential candidate be consulting his wife, as he says he does, on issues about women? A CNN commentator created a firestorm by saying Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life, so how could she understand economic issues facing women today?
Apologies for the comment were forthcoming, and rightly so. Certainly raising five boys must be considered "working." A chorus of mothers would testify that raising children is hard, stressful, but joyful work that can send you crawling to the pillow, dead to the world by day's end. And while Mr. Romney's wife may not have had to worry about how to pay for uniforms, school photos or the prom, her job may have been made even harder with a hard charging CEO husband.
Why must the mommy wars pit stay at home moms against working moms? Both have important jobs that require lots of work, management and organization. The only difference is one pays in cash when the other pays in intangibles. Most mothers struggle, looking at their baby's face wondering if they should be leaving their child early and returning home late. They ask if a dynamic business woman makes a great role model for their child. I got the best of both worlds; lucky enough to stay at home with the first daughter, but the other two girls came along once I had opened a tennis club. Customers showered them with attention, and the court became their playground. Sadly, most working moms don't even have a choice in the matter.
In the end, whatever choice a mom makes, compromise can reveal a silver lining. A dad at home will cherish a closer bond with his children while mom's at work. Relatives and neighbors helping out become people the child will always hold dear. And there's no doubt children learn much from working moms or grandmothers. My 10-year-old granddaughter has witnessed many Senate hearings and speeches and now is very comfortable speaking in public.
AsMother's Daynears we should remember the saying "a mothers work is never done" whether your work or stay home, that couldn't be more true!
Sen. Nancy Jacobs, Annapolis
The writer, a Republican, Represents Harford County in the General Assembly. She is a mother of three and grandmother of seven.