Tag Archives: the lowly life of the stay at home

My Mental War

Recently, Missy and I debated whether Obama spoke out of ignorance or calculation when he said that overturning his healthcare law would be “unprecedented.”

Today I find myself mentally debating this question again, this time about Hilary Rosen’s “never worked a day in her life” schtick.

Was it a gaffe, in which she let the mask slip?  Or was it calculated to distract us from The Real Issue?

I wrestle with this mental debate a lot, and I can never truly make up my mind.  Neither answer satisfies my rather unfortunate urge to understand these people because either way, the truth is unsettling.

Take Ms. Rosen’s case, for example.  Either she is disdainful of women who (if they are “rich enough” to have the “luxury” of the choice) decide not to work, or she is willing to say anything with a straight face if it will benefit her political party.

Which is it?  And did you notice how clever that little limitation is?  The disdain is reserved only for the rich stay-at-home moms, ‘natch.  Disparaging the opinions of all stay-at-home moms would be beyond the pale, even for the most leftist of the left.

Of course, this limitation only works if it’s true.  First, it must be true that rich persons cannot understand the difficulties of the poor.  In other words, there is no such thing as empathy in Ms. Rosen’s world.

Second, it must be true that staying home is a luxury reserved for the wealthy.  And oh, looky, right on cue, the President enters stage left with his ridiculous claim that they couldn’t afford the “luxury” of Michelle staying home.  (Never-you-mind about the First Lady’s opinion.  That was way back in 2007 when she said that staying home makes her ill.)

Do you know what?

I’m tired of wondering whether these people are actually thick enough to believe the ridiculous things they say.

Is it purely partisan political hackery?  Or do they really believe that only the rich can live comfortably on one income?  If so, then the Obamas and the Rosens may as well live on the moon, they are so far out of touch.  Come on over to my house, guys.  Meet me and all my stay-at-home mom buddies.  We exist.  None of us are even the teensiest bit rich.

Oh, no.  See what I’m doing?  Mentally debating the “ignorance v. calculation” question.  Again!  I may need professional help.

It’s just . . . I’m confused.  I can’t even keep up with the various lines of reasoning.  Does the left believe there is a real Republican War on Women?  (In which women are dying!  Dying!  Because evil conservatives are killing them during childbirth!)

Or not?  Because we have Ms. Rosen saying the Democrats had actually never used the phrase “War on Women,” and that it was a Republican invention.

Wait.  Is it really . . . Obama’s War on Women?

Okay.  I guess I’m done.  I thought I’d have something more meaningful to say about The Left and The Right and The Staying Home and The Mommy Wars, which is normally like crack to my little brain.

Yet, here I am too far into a post to just delete it, and with nothing more meaningful to add than this:  it doesn’t matter what we say anymore.  We’d probably be better off not responding at all.

Ann Kane at The American Thinker says it best:

“Wouldn’t it be cool if he next time the Left entices us with some manufactured crisis, we just ignore it and continue on with exposing what’s really going on?”

UPDATE:  John Malcolm takes a stance opposite from Ann Kane, and his argument (via Red State) is quite effective:

“Contrary to what a lot of folks on our side are saying these attacks are far more important to defend against than obsessing over Romney’s position on Afghanistan or the capital gains tax because this election is not going to be fought over issues and ideas. . . .  Obama . . . doesn’t have issues and he doesn’t have accomplishments so all that is left to him is to tear down Romney.

If he can convince you that Romney is a cross between Scrooge McDuck and Moe Howard who adheres to a very strange set of religious beliefs then he wins.”

Cross-posted at Disrupt The Narrative.  Hop on over there, too.  You know you want to!

Happy?

Oh, goody!  A study in the December issue of APA’s Journal of Family Psychology concludes that “working moms feel better than stay-at-home moms.”

Could it be?  Ah, yes, it’s a twofer, combining the emotion-prevoking Mommy Wars with yet another Study of Dubious Utility.

A Google search unearthed the opinion of a professional feminist, which I’m not exactly sure what that is, other than someone I’m not likely to agree with often, but by golly I agree on this one:

 ” . . . personally, I think there are some days when I am [happy], some days when I’m not. This isn’t a race. There isn’t a shortage of happiness in this world, and the way people are splitting ‘The Motherhood’ into two camps just [bleeps] me off.”

Well, yes.

Something else is annoying, though, beyond the dubious utility and the arbitrary division.

Who likes it when other people think they know best?  So when I hear this:

“lead author . . . says the real message of her study is this: get a job, whether full-time or part-time,”

my reaction is, don’t tell me what to do.

The vagaries of life haven’t offered me much in the way of universal truths, but one thing I can say with certainty:  staying at home doesn’t make me unhappy, and likewise working wouldn’t make me unhappy, either.

I make myself unhappy.

That’s right, I cause my own unhappiness–and sometimes outright misery–no matter what my daily circumstances, which have varied greatly in the last forty years, I might add, and through all those changes I have always managed to maintain an impressively unhealthy level of worry, anxiety, insecurity, and general malaise.

Furthermore, no amount of scientific study, psychological profiling, or helpful advice will decrease said level of worry, anxiety, insecurity, general malaise, and outright misery.  I’ll lower the levels when it suits me, if it suits me, on my own time, and in my own way.

Just so we’re clear on the matter.

Been Sidetracked

I’ve got post ideas floatin’ around in me noggin, but a warm-weather weekend meant time was spent outdoors, where all young boys and dogs belong.

Then today, once the boys promptly shuffled off to school, I met with an entirely unexpected turn of events.  That perennial dark horse of my many daily demands–housework–surged ahead of all else, suddenly, as if charged by the force of nature itself.

I could no longer ignore the dust on the ceiling fans, which had gone from merely caking the blades to actually creating stalagtite formations through some sort of disgusting cascading effect.

Of course, cleaning those meant a slippery slope of housekeeping:  now I have to dust the shelves.  Vacuum the carpet.  Those couch and chair covers are disgusting.  Well the vacuum is already out.  I may as well pull up the cushions.

Whoa.

There was quite a collection to inventory:  candy wrappers (some from Christmas!), crumpled post-its bearing cheat codes, faded Nerds and M&Ms, a DS stylus, a pair of dirty socks, all coated generously with dust bunnies and dog hair.

Yeah, I know.  We live in filth.

We move in two months.  I’ll clean the rest then.

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