Little Wife On the Prairie

When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Trying to keep my cool.

This morning I read an article about Rick Santorum and his wife making comments concerning women in combat.  The comments ran into the subject of women in the workplace and how radical feminism told women that the only way they could truly be fulfilled and successful was in the workplace.  The Santorums supported moms at home saying that Mrs. Santorum has two degrees in nursing and law but chose to stay home and raise a family.  I am sure the man commenting below is a nice man and I am really trying not to pass judgement.  My question is, if he is so concerned about defending a woman's place in society, how can he make such sexist and stereotypical remarks?  Read for yourself...     

"I have to wonder something.

Why exactly did Rick's wife Karen spend the enormous amount of time and money to go through both law school and nursing school -- if she had no intention of actually pursuing those careers?

Was she just trolling around looking for a sugar daddy? Seems like it. Otherwise, she essentially wasted years of her life getting professional degrees -- and then not using any of her knowledge or skill to help society.

At the end of the day, it appears she was lucky enough to find a husband who could support her (he being on the public dole almost the entire time) so she could stay home and school her brood. Unfortunately, in a nation where jobs are scarce, she is in the elite minority. Most of us have marriages in which both parties, like it or not, have to work full time."

Here is where I have to tell myself to breath and not start yelling at the computer.  I know it is an ignorant remark.  But I also know the only way to remedy ignorance is to educate.  Who will educate this man?  He will continue on with his life holding those ideas as truth, never knowing the other side of this issue. 

His idea that a woman would put so much time and effort into educating herself only to "waste it" by raising children is probably the most offensive.  There are so many moms that I know who are educated and who might even have worked before having children.  They have made choices about what they want for themselves and their families.  That choice includes using their highly educated minds to build up a new generation of human beings.  If there is a better use for a degree, I would like someone to tell me.  These moms don't just sling spaghetti and wash laundry.  (okay, so we do a lot of that too.) They spend time teaching their children, molding them, helping them learn to express themselves, preparing them to be productive members of society.  Hardly a waste.

There are many of us that will go on to have careers after we raise our children.  But that will just be an added bonus to an already accomplished life.  I can guarantee you that if we do go back to work, we will be most valued employees.  We will have skills one can only acquire from years of monitoring negotiations (settling arguments over who did what), multitasking (making lunch and breastfeeding simultaneously) and learning to anticipate any outcome to any situation (where will the toddler decide to poop his pants?)  We will be loyal because we have to work long enough to be eligible for retirement.  (After all, we have already worked one full career that did not come with retirement benefits.)  Lastly, employers will not have to worry about us taking maternity leave or  heading home to sick kids.  We will be living our second stage of life and will be free to dedicate ourselves to the occupation of our choosing. 

What I find humorous about this man's comment is that he seems to think that the only women who stay at home are the wives of the wealthy.  How many of us have made sacrifices to be able to stay home?  How many of our husbands have worked two jobs or worked in a job that they may not love just to allow us to do what is most important to the family?  I know there aren't any of us who think, "Hey, we've got all this extra money, I think I will just not work and have a bunch of kids so I can spend it all!"  Silly, silly man. 

We stay-at-home moms come in all different shapes and sizes.  We come from all different backgrounds.  Some of us have a PhD and some of us, a GED.  For the most part, what we have in common is a heart's desire to do the very best to give our children everything they need to grow into precious people.  We all decided a long time ago that our families are our greatest adventure.  We all know the feeling of loving something more than our own lives and living to put ourselves aside everyday.  If that makes us culturally irrelevant, then we can live with that. 

So, Mr. Opinion, next time you want to broadly generalize a group of people, leave us out of it.  Or if you choose to expel your ignorance about us again, that's okay.  We have handled much worse than you:  teething, toddlers, toilet training, teenagers...  It's just part of the job.  And it's glorious!  

*Disclaimer!!!  This blog is meant to defend moms who choose to stay at home.  It is not referring to, eluding to or in any way commenting on the choice of some moms to go to work.  Every family has a balance that has to be decided on by it's members.  I support moms, period!  So please all of my working mom sisters, don't think I am in any way saying anything negative about you.  We all have to stick together!*   



Michelle said...

Amen sister, I often wonder why I got that BS degree, then I think about the way I live life now as before I had the schooling. I used to think I learned a lot of useless information. Now I see that I think differently than I did while raising KJ. I can also chalk it up to life experience, but I wanna tell that guy "what's the rush? Our kids need us for only a short period of time. May be if more women made the choice to raise their kids instead of letting others do it we might be seeing a better generation."
This is our job, not anyone else's. There is no road map for life that tells you when the detour for raising children comes. You should applaud women who have enough fortitude to get a degree while they are working on their real lives. I am sick of media showing selfishness as the normal. Why is sacrifice only good for our military & civil servants? If more people would sacrifice something you'll see a change in this generation.

Brandon and April said...

perfectly worded. I couldn't have said it better myself!
preach it, sister friend!!

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Carrie said...

Go Rachelle! How much personal info did that guy leave? I'd love to send him a link to your post! :-) Ignorance runs rampant, unfortunately. I am so very thankful that I have the blessing of staying home & raising my kids. I had 8.5 years in my career, and I'm good with that. I'm GREAT with being a SAHM! All said and done, though, moms have to stick together.
Love ya, Sistah!