Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hard Work II: Electric Boogaloo

Apparently the latest D.C. flame war is the Ann-Romney-vs-Hillary-Rosen Chain-Cage Death Tweet Grudge Match.

This sucker kicked off after the Romneybot trotted out the Little Woman to try and display that, yes, indeedy, he DOES understand that Wimmens Are People, Too, and so they should vote for him because he married one of these women-things so he can do women-positive stuff like cut people off those oh-so-demeaning entitlement programs and refund the money saved to the wealthy (like...Ann Romney!).Ms. Rosen pointed out, rather obviously, that Mrs. Romney wasn't exactly wet-nursing a dozen toddlers in a go-down off of Gin Lane; she was (and is) an insanely rich housewife who could afford to "stay home and raise five boys", as opposed to 95% of the rest of the moms in the U.S., who would quickly be reduced to standing on a streetcorner with a baby on one hip and a basketful of matches on the other if their family lost their share of the income.

This pisses me off on a number of levels.

It pisses me off because of the ridiculous assumption that stay-home moms "work" harder than moms who, y'know, work.

Which is ridiculous, because stay-home moms are way at the bottom of the work food-chain, below the working moms and far, far below the single working moms, for whom there are simply not enough hours in the day.

It pisses me off because of the way it automatically genuflects to the "traditional" wife and mother without any thought of how difficult it is to "choose" to be a stay-home mom after the relentless thirty-year cramdown of wages for the non-two-yacht family.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about.

I wanted to talk about this.

That's the Twitter feed from Rosen's original post. Go and read the comments from the Obama people walking Rosen's comment about how Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life" back; "I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly.", "Families should remain off-limits" (because...Romney trotted out his little wifey for no reason other than personal pride?) and especially this one: "i personally believe stay at home moms work harder than most of us do."

To which I say; great gigongeous flaming titanic planetary-sized balls of horseshit.

And I speak with some authority because I've been a stay-at-home-dad. And a paratroop sergeant. And a diesel mechanic, a jumper stable undergroom, the downstairs guy in a JiffyLubeTM, a high school AND a community college teacher, and a professional geologist.

And I will freely tell you this; every single damn one of those jobs. Every one. Every fucking moment of every one.

Was harder than being a stay-at-home-dad.

Oh, there were things about being a SAHD that kinda sucked.

The hours often aren't great. The clientele is not always friendly. Flat-out the WORST thing is the fucking boredom; raising a kid is often like playing catch with a dog - trust me, you're going to get bored waaaaaayyyyyy before the dog (or the kid) does. Remind me I said that after reading "Thomas the Train and the Blustery Day" to your toddler for the eight zillionth time.

So at-home parenting is sort of like one of those brain-killing data entry jobs people with "computer science" degrees used to get in the Seventies and Eighties. Long, insanely dull, repetitive, occasionally panicky, sometimes stressful.

But "hard"?

Fuckety fuck, no.

And the reason this "Ohhh, those sweet stay-home mommies, they work so haaaard!" crap drives me so nuts is because - while they're doing their best to make things harder for the sort of people who don't have the Ann Romney kind of cash to hire nannies and au pairs and cleaning services and diaper services and all - the GOP sorts of people luuurves to talk about how wonderful and hard-working all those SAHMs and SAHDs are (though good luck expecting them to get excited about, you know, the people with penises staying home with the kiddos - how the hell you gonna hang with the Tea Party Commandos with that baby bag, there, dad?)

But here's the Big Reveal; staying at home with the kids really ain't hard work.Physically the worst nuisance is between about 18 months old and five or six; as babies they're basically noisy luggage - you can take them with you wherever you need to go as long as you remember their mountain of kit (diapers, wubbies, change of clothes, Cheerios...) - and after that they're in school most of the day. It's a pain again when they're older - starting in the late-grade-school tween years - because of the emotional headaches; you have to worry about herpes and smoking weed and drunk driving and on-line predators.

But the "work" part throughout pretty much consists of feeding 'em, cleaning them, and cleaning up AFTER them, and word up - nobody reading this is living in fricking "Little House on the Prairie".

And sure as HELL not Ann Romney. Little Mansion on the Hudson, probably.

Laundry? You got a machine for that. Dishes? You got a machine for that. Cleaning? How the hell long does it take to vacuum a floor and wipe down a countertop? You've got a fridge and a microwave and a range/over - you don't exactly have to hunt, kill, butcher, and roast a mammoth haunch over an open fire.

When my kid was little and I was out of work I swear, I could get pretty much all the housework done in the space it took for him to nap; maybe an hour, tops. I could toss him in the car and do the marketing, with stops on the way for the library and some coffee. Hang out at the bookstore, go to his fave indoor play place. I pretty much had a leisurely day with the kiddo, tantrums and the hour or so of housework aside.

Now...what I couldn't do was the stuff I liked doing; I couldn't sit and read (unless he was sleeping), or exercise, or watch a movie or a soccer match on television, or blog. And that was frustrating, no kidding.

But it was not effing hard work.


So this pisses me off because it's a plain and simple attempt by a hereditary rich couple to try and con the marks suckers "independent" voters into believing that the RomneyTron 2000 is really a warm, empathetic humanoid that loves him some good ol' plain folks because he's, you know, a family man with a Hard-Working Li'l Woman just like them!

But instead it tells me the opposite.

Because as a guy who's been one; if this gomer and his wife think she was "working hard" when she was staying home with the kiddies and the nanny and the housekeeper and the gardener?

They need to go out and learn about real hard work.

'Cause hanging around the house vacuuming the carpets and wiping the baby's ass ain't it.

Nasty?Yep. I'll give you nasty.

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