Every Mother is a Working Mother

childrenUnless you live under a rock, you have undoubtedly heard by now that political strategist Hilary Rosen has not only put her foot in her mouth, but possibly her entire leg as well. In an interview on CNN Wednesday night she said that Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, had “never worked a day in her life.”  Rather than pursue a professional career with implied public prestige and a paycheck, Ann Romney chose to focus her life on raising her five sons and managing her home. Of course, this statement quickly erupted into a firestorm of controversy and re-ignited the endless working mother v. stay-at-home mom debate. Ms. Rosen did issue a written statement of apology the next afternoon, but by then the damage was done and little has been said.

By the way, I don’t find it insignificant that the statement was made by a woman about another woman. We tend to be our own worst enemies.

Really? Why are we arguing about this?

I have had some kind of work that produces a paycheck pretty much since I started babysitting just before my 12th birthday. Since I became a mother nearly a quarter century ago, I have had part-time jobs, full-time jobs, my own business where I worked away from home, my own business where I worked from home and times where I was able to devote all of my attention to managing my home and raising my children.  No matter what I was doing or how I was doing it, I was criticized for it.

But aren’t we all sisters?


As women, we should be supporting one another. We should be creating a community and doing our part to make this world a better place. And yet, here we are, tearing one another down, denigrating the role and worth of motherhood and simultaneously denigrating the role and worth of mothers with an additional job. This is not how it is supposed to work. This is clearly the adversary at work. Satan must have been doing the happy dance yesterday for sure as WOMEN traded barbs back and forth, both publicly and privately, about which type of mother was the better woman, who was making a greater contribution to society, who was nobler, made bigger sacrifices, was lazy or selfish or . . . .

Let’s stop this insanity.

Let me just clarify this. Every mother works. Some have additional jobs that come with paychecks. Why a mother has an “additional” job (and since motherhood is several full-time jobs in itself, I say anything else is an “additional” job) or doesn’t have an additional job isn’t anyone’s business. There are as many reasons for the job as there are women who have one.  Either way, life isn’t easy. Granted, some lives are harder than others and it’s not always a matter of money. Each of us has challenges. Each of us has needs. Each of us has a story that isn’t readily visible to the rest of the world and probably never will be. And that story isn’t the world’s business.

It’s time for us women to stop judging one another and begin supporting one another. We all have difficult jobs–some of us just have more jobs right now than others.  Some of those jobs come with paychecks and some don’t. Self-worth and value aren’t dependent on a paycheck and they’re not dependent on not getting a paycheck. We all have inherent worth as daughters of God. We are all worthy and we are all valuable. How about if we remember that? Instead of tearing one another down, how about if we look for ways to lift one another up?

This motherhood thing is hard. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. I don’t know how true that really is but I do know that it takes a community to support a mother. It is time for us to step up and be that community.

Sisters, be sisters. Real sisters. Not the squabbling, bickering sisters of our childhoods, but the supportive, loving, strong and amazing women of God that we are.

Every mother is a working mother. Every woman is our sister. And we are all daughters of God.

Remember that.




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  1. Feel free to remove my post, Molly. From reading the original post on this thread, I thought that my response was appropriate. My error.

    FYI, it would have been preferable if someone had just said to me, directly, that I had misunderstood the purpose of the thread. I found the unwillingness to address me directly rude.

    1. Susan, I do need to offer my apologies if you are feeling hurt. If I had found your comments inappropriate to this blog, I would have let you know and removed it. While I believe you interpreted my post differently than I intended it, it in no way negates or devalues your feelings on the subject. No, the intent of my post was not political. I am not publicly (or privately) endorsing any political candidate.

      I do understand your frustrations. I, too, am the child of a “working” mother and my mother suffered some very difficult challenges that, even as an adult, I do not always fully understand because it was certainly a different time and place than my own adult life. I do not speak publicly or elaborate on them out of respect for her privacy as I know she would not want me to.

      I actually did write a response to your post but I was not happy with and so have not yet published it.

      For me, the issue of “working” mothers and SAHM moms, both of which I believe are misnomers, is not the issue of benefits or childcare or access to medical care or assistance. It is that, rather than supporting one another and lifting one another up and finding our commonalities, we women are turning on one another. We make public statements about other women that men would never dare say (such as Ms. Rosen’s statement about Ann Romney never having worked a day in her life).

      Not having financial struggles makes a woman no less worthy than one who does. I know women who appear to have it all and women who don’t know whether they will have a roof over their head next week. I fall into neither category, but know and understand well that life can turn on a dime. We all have a story. We are rarely privileged to know someone else’s whole story. I appreciate your sharing your story with us. One of the reasons I did not publish an immediate response is that I did not want to diminish your story in any way.

      I do hope you will continue to visit with us and share your thoughts and opinions when you feel moved to do so. A world of only assenting opinions would be a dull world indeed.

  2. Hello, everyone. My name is Susan and I’m not LDS but I was looking up something about Mormonism and I came across the term “Molly Mormon” and here I am.

    This controversy has drawn my attention, too, and I was very interested to see what “modern” Mormon women might say about it. I appreciated the article very much but I think the author misunderstood Hilary Rosen’s comment which seems to be pretty common response. Her phrasing was poor but it was clear to me when I read it in context. Rosen was not criticizing Ann Romney’s choice to stay at home with her children. Rosen has children and has cut her work hours so that she could spend more time with them. She was responding to Mitt Romney’s repeated comments that his wife reports to him what women are thinking as this election season progresses. Rosen was trying to convey that Ann Romney’s experience is not common to American women. The majority of American women work for pay outside the home. For many, that is their preference and for many others, it’s absolutely necessary to put food on the table and shoes on their kids. Millions of women who work outside the home worry about losing their jobs and their family’s financial security if they lose their jobs because they stay home one too many times with a sick child. Ann Romney has never had any of those experiences. She grew up in a wealthy family, did not have a job while she was in college, married a wealthy man, dropped out of college when she had her first child and has never had to worry for one moment about whether she could provide her children with a meal or a pair of shoes that fit. Even if her wealthy husband left her, her wealthy parents would take up the slack. Few people have anything like those resources in these times.

    Rosen felt it necessary to point out Ann Romney’s particular lack of personal experience with the uncertainty faced by most mothers because of Mitt Romney’s economic and social policies that will destroy any sense of security that many women might have over their own and their families’ future. From his determination to defund Title X which provides affordable and accessible contraception to low income women to his promised destruction of Planned Parenthood which is one of the most efficient providers of contraceptives for low-income women to his support for the Ryan budget which will literally take the food out of hungry children’s mouths, Mitt Romney has all but declared that low and middle income women, who could move into low income status with one semi-serious illness or the loss of one job, and their children are of no value in American society. If he is actually listening to his wife’s counsel, she needs to apologize to the majority of American women who do not support those policies.

    Rosen’s point was that Mitt Romney needs to deal with women directly and not outsource his job to his wife.

    For the record, I chose not to have children for a number of reasons, one of which was the memory of my divorced, disabled mother struggling to raise three children with no help from anyone. The programs that Mitt Romney is eager to destroy, with his wife’s support, would have meant the world to my mother who died young from stress-related heart disease. Yes, this is a life and death issue for me and I’m less than concerned with the politically convenient and manufactured hurt feelings of Ann Romney who has bragged that Hilary Rosen had given her a birthday gift by “attacking” her on her stay-at-home status.

    Thank you, ladies, for the opportunity to get that off my chest.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong Marie, but I think the post is a response to the battle that ensued after Hilary’s poorly worded statement. It isn’t meant to be a political commentary.

      1. You are correct, Amber. No political commentary here. While I definitely have political opinions, it’s rare that I share them online and never in my blog posts.

  3. GREAT post that every one should read.
    Being a Mother is the BESTEST job in the whole world!!!

  4. So well said, Molly! It seems like women are so often criticized BY OTHER WOMEN for the choices they make. I’m a firm believer that we all should make the choices that are best for ourselves. For each person that’s different, but we need to stop worrying what others think, stop criticizing what others are doing, and just be ourselves. The world would surely be a better place for it.

  5. Never heard of Hilary Rosen so I must live under a rock like everyone else I know. However teh rest of the post reminds me of this:

    A guy comes home and nearly falls over his kids’ toys. The house is a mess and dinner is not ready and is wife is sitting on the couch in her night gown. He turns to her and says “What is all this?”

    She looks at him and said “You remember how I kept saying that you don’t know what I do all day? Well today I didn’t”

    1. That’s an old story, Lawrence, but it still makes me chuckle. It is all too true. Too often the work of mothers goes unnoticed until it goes undone. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Marie! This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart 🙂 I agree! We are all sisters and we need to start supporting and empowering each other! The movement I am creating is to uplift women and put an end to all this insanity. Social media has made it so easy for us to change the world, I am blessed to know you! I will be sharing this post on Twitter and on my Facebook page sister!