Jami called to ask what I thought of Hillary Rosen’s statement that “Ann Romney hadn’t worked a day in her life.” Jami is a college graduate who for the time being at least, has elected to stay home and raise her two rambunctious little boys.
Here’s my answer.
Fifty years ago, my guest blogger Pinky Kase and I became a part of a social study group. Twenty four married women met every other Friday for lunch and book discussions. None of us worked but all of us were college graduates, some with advanced degrees.
Amongst us were 5 PhD’s, 1 MD, 8 lawyers, 12 business and banking professionals and 3 teachers. Though unpaid, our career choices varied: financial planner, dog breeder, artist, playwright, radio producer, journalist, gerontologist, actress, lobbyist, fitness instructor, film executive, accountant, occupational therapist, pilot, comedy agent and a civil rights specialist.
And to fill our spare time, we became CASAs (Court Appointed special Advocates for Abused and Neglected Children,) volunteered our time for girl scouts, boy scouts, PTA, and other school related activities, conferences on law reform and seminars on adolescent problems. Two of us worked on adoption rights, two published articles and essays, some on children and others on art and architecture, and one worked on anti-war activities.
All together, we had more than fifty children. We knew how to change a tire, make divine pate brisee, and to stay married to the same man for as long as he lived.
Our husbands went to work in the morning and came home at night. They didn’t change diapers or cook, (except to grill outdoors.) Some were handy with tools and some helped in the yard, but most left for the golf course on Saturday morning and often played on Sundays too.
Here’s the difference between then and now. We didn’t do it alone. Help was cheap and most of us had part time or full time maids, live in housekeepers, or someone to watch the children during the day. Just like Ann Romney.
Can you have it all? With luck and more luck, sure, but unless your husband is a billionaire, maybe just not like Ann Romney.