background img

Remark about Ann Romney’s work decried as uproar renews spotlight on women voters

Ann Romney fought back Thursday after a Democratic consultant suggested she isn’t qualified to discuss the economy because she “hasn’t worked a day in her life.” The White House, in instant damage-control mode, declared that no one there was saying such a thing. Michelle Obama tweeted her personal support of all mothers.

With women’s votes expected to be crucial in November, the remark by consultant Hilary Rosen ignited an immediate uproar: attacks by Mitt Romney’s Republican campaign along with the disavowals from President Barack Obama’s allies.

Ann Romney, the Republican presidential contender’s wife, made her Twitter debut on Thursday in response to the contention she’d never worked: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

The consultant apologized later on TV.

In the meantime, the backlash to her comment was brutal and swift, crackling across Twitter, cable television and old-fashioned telephone lines. It appeared to have reignited the debate, at least for now, over choices many women make as they juggle motherhood with the work most need to pay bills, college tuition and a semblance of financial security for their families.

Michelle Obama tweeted, “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.”

President Obama also said candidates’ families should be off-limits in a political campaign, Bloomberg News reported.

“I don’t have a lot of patience for commentary about the spouses of political candidates,” Obama said in an interview with Iowa television station KCRG.

“There’s no tougher job than being a mom,” Obama said. “Anybody who would argue otherwise, I think, probably needs to rethink their statement.”

Though polls show Obama running ahead of Romney among female voters, Republicans are targeting married women and mothers for possible support in the election. The GOP tried to link Rosen to the White House, while Obama’s camp tried, sometimes awkwardly, to distance him from the fight.

It all started Wednesday night with Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen had said. “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of women in this country are facing.”

On Thursday, Ann Romney noted on Fox News that her career choice was being a mother, and while she hasn’t faced financial hardship, she has confronted the ordeals of cancer and multiple sclerosis. Finally, she noted that her husband has said her work is more important than his as family breadwinner.

“He would say, ‘My job is temporary. … Your job is a forever job that’s going to bring forever happiness,” Ann Romney said. “Mitt respects women that make those different choices.”

By Laurie Kellman
The Associated Press

Is Your Volunteering Truly Benefiting Your Child?

When I was growing up, my mom was always involved in our elementary school. She was active in the PTA, served as president and worked as a teacher’s aide in my later years. I enjoyed having my mom be a part of my education and visible in the school.

This left such an impact on me that I am now involved in my daughters’ school.

Like my mom, I am active, but work to give my children space to be themselves and find their own place without their mother hovering. Unlike my mom, I work outside the home. Also unlike my mom, I do not participate in the PTA directly, but help out in other capacities.

I help in the classroom, fill Friday folders, act as room parent, organize the science fair and sit on the school improvement committee. I also ran a science club last fall.

After that list, I’m wondering if I am giving them space, or enough of my undivided attention.

Mama Drama: Stay at Home Success

Dear Mama Drama:

We have recently adopted a three-year-old twins. I am fortunate to be able to stay home to help them adjust to our family and bond with us.

I love children and am thrilled to finally have two of my own, but I have little experience with keeping them busy for an entire day. I would love some ideas for creating meaningful and fun activities for them.

~Inexperienced Mama

(photo credit)

Dear Inexperienced:

Congratulations on your growing family! Three-year-olds are busy little people learning, exploring, and discovering the world and themselves. Keeping up with their energy can be

Stay-at-homers or working moms: do you ever envy the other side?

The thing about moms who work outside their homes is that we love to hate the moms who don’t.

Not as individuals. But as a demographic of nameless, faceless minivan drivers toward whom we direct a venomous mix of resentment, bewilderment and envy.

We spot them in their workout clothes and tell ourselves their days must be so mindless.

Every time we mooch their graham crackers, every time we borrow their Handi Wipes and every time we ask them, last minute, to cover for us in carpools, we’re reminded of our own half measures.

What a waste of talent and ambition, we try to convince ourselves, congratulating ourselves on our choices.

I write this after having spent a week off living like a stay-at-homer.

For the first time ever, I got to linger among the moms after drop-off at day camp, joining their ritual coffee klatch.

“We’ve never had your type in the mornings,” one of them told me.

“My type?” I