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So How Much Is The GOP Going To Pay Moms?

So How Much Is The GOP Going To Pay Moms?

This morning, my 11 week old woke up at 4:30 am wanting to be fed.  Usually, when that happens I start the day’s writing to see how much I can get done before the rest of the house wakes up.  But this morning, he was still wide awake after he finished his bottle.  Instead, I baked a batch of muffins from scratch for breakfast and started a loaf of bread for dinner while I sang him a few songs to keep him entertained.  Once the other kids were awake, it was time to feed them all, get them changed and brushed and out the door, and then once more feed the baby and put him down for a nap.  After I put a load of laundry in, I sat down to write an article until he woke back up, ready to play and, yes, eat again.

I’m a work at home mom.

I missed last night’s inaugural charge in the newly revamped “mommy wars,” mostly because with two of my three children still not sleeping through the night, I grab my sleep whenever I can get it.  But I was pretty shocked when I woke up to learn that suddenly, the Republican party was the party of moms, while the Democrats actually hate women.

It’s easy to forget that when it comes to mothers, there’s a myriad of types.  There’s the “stay at home” who doesn’t earn income outside of the house, the “working mom” who earns income outside of the home, the “work at home” mom who earns income in the home, either with or without her children in the house, and the hybrids who do all of the above.  Each version has their own benefits, and their own drawbacks.  The “working mom” may wish she could see her kids more, the “stay at home” may miss having a career, and the “work at home” may wish she could just do a conference call without the baby screaming because he just pooped for the first time in two days and is now covered in it (oh, was that too much information?).

The big question isn’t who is working harder, and where that work is happening, but whether these are choices we get to make on our own.  For many who work who would rather be at home, that isn’t a possibility because day to day expenses, especially housing and medical, are simply too expensive to be able to afford without her income.  For others, who would rather be at work than at home, that simply isn’t a choice because the costs of childcare are too prohibitive.

And that’s where we get to the real crux in the “mommy war.” When a mother stays at home and cares for the children, it has no financial gain, whereas when a mother goes to work and has to pay another to care for her child, it’s then considered a large expense.  Our current system says it values the work of the person raising the child above all else, but we believe there should be no monetary value to it when the mother is the one doing it.

Republicans can come out of the woodwork saying that Democrats don’t understand that “raising children is work.”  But they can’t truly say they value the work of raising and caring for children when they continue to push policies that undermine any monetary value to that work.

Unless women and their children can have affordable health care that isn’t dependent on employment — either theirs or their spouse’s — they don’t really believe mothers exclusively raising children are working.

Unless women can receive a check each week that is equivalent to the amount that they would have to pay a daycare provider to provide the same services — and at extended hours — they don’t really believe mothers are working.

Unless they are willing to give them social security benefits on their own versus through their spouses — or a pension, or even just funds that they can invest for their own retirement down the road — they don’t really believe mothers are working.

And unless they offer real child tax credits that actually come close to what the feeding, clothing and medical bills of a child are for a year — and that doesn’t max out if it’s more than your taxable income — they don’t really believe mothers are working.

Dear GOP, I’m glad to hear that you are the party that really understands that moms are working when they raise their children.  I’m anxious to hear exactly how much you have decided to pay us for that work.

 

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11:51PM PST on Feb 27, 2013

John h., Parenthood is not a burden,it is a honor! One to be proud of!

6:38AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

wow! someone has a chip on there shoulder! I have worked 3 jobs to take care of my children! but not everybody has the opportunity to stay at home and raise our kids ! not everybody has a husband that will help. or perhaps they are not in the household. unfortunately i was not given that opportunity ! i busted my ass i paid my taxes and i don't appreciate people like you that obviously have had it good, and sit there and judge the rest of us for not doing as well as you, obviously think you have! i have been a single mom for the majority of my life and i have worked since i was 9 years old! I would much rather work but its very difficult to even find a job now i have been looking for 2 years for another job . i work 1 day a week and i hate it but at the same time i am grateful for at least having a job. it doesn't pay my rent and it sure as hell leaves me with nothing after i pay for all of my bills, including gas and other things that are needed. i do realize that there are women out there that do as you say they do , they give the rest of us women a bad name. but it does not mean that we are all in that position and unless you have been in the situation and you know the circumstances then who the hell are you to sit in judgement of the rest of us? taking away the basic human rights of men, women and children is by far the worst thing they could do or are you one of these people that thinks that men. women and children belong on the streets and deserve it? you litera

2:49PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Mark - I think you are wrong. There are no woman complaining that they HAVE to work, they are complaining because they cannot spend more time with there children and fear they are missing out by not being at home. I think that it is great that you are taking responsibility, but the reason custody is given to woman more often is because the men who want to fight for it are in the minority of men, not in the majority, and frankly there motives are not always for the good of their own children. However, this article is about the variety there is households (lots of different types of Moms). I agree that men were left out and that it is an important omission, however, even the politicians are guilty of this. By talking only about woman they are basically saying that stay at home Dads don't exist (single or otherwise). My husband stayed home for almost two years while I continued to work full-time. He had gotten laid off a month before our son was born. Now it is turned around the other way (I was laid off while on maternity leave with our daughter). These were just our circumstances. Both of us care about and are involved in our children's lives and due to various other circumstances found that having one of stay at home was a cost savings over both of us working and paying for childcare (even more so after the second child).

12:47PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Susan C., The numbers I quoted are correct national statistics. I have never met a divorced man with children or a man that was the named father on the birth certificate that had gone or was taken to court that did not have to pay/ was not ordered to pay child support. I know two men that have full custody that have to pay the expenses of visitation... ones ex lives in the same city and the others lives two states away. The system is one sided and severely broken... and it is this way at the absolute demands of women as a whole.

12:03PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Mark K - You are misinformed about child support. Not all states are the same. Not all situations are the same. Not all states allow abortions. Not all men take responsibility. Not all women make good mothers. I am glad that you are a good parent and knew to get custody of your daughter. I wish the best choices for your daughter!

11:47AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Sweet Mother of God!!! Women on here are actually complaining about being Moms that must work because their husbands don't participate....

Why should they!! Over 90% of the time custody is won by the "woman" in a divorce.. only a woman can decide whether to keep or abort... etc. as to the absolute exclusion of men in the pre natal or post natal decisions regarding birth or custody.... we are simply told to pay and visit every other weekend with some holidays thrown in "if it is convenient". However, whether or not the "mom" complies... we pay or go to jail. Dads get a better income or job and the price goes up... Moms get a better job or a new husband that pays the bills and the price goes up... any way it goes... the Father pays and then pays more and his rights are ignored.

I had NO problem raising my daughter. She is healthy, happy and well employed with no need of a shrink. I asked for and was awarded for no support (though EVERY father is made to pay when the roles are reversed)... her mother could see her as often and whenever the two agreed to be together.

I am NOT the exception.... most men are completely capable but automatically denied. Yet the comments on this string only see it one way... womens rights. What a crock of crap!!!

10:45PM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

I was thinking the same thing when the repubs made that brouhaha about the Dem's comment. In the 70s, we were all about acknowledging women's work at home. The repubs really stepped in it this time, ... however, they'll find a way to finesse their way out of their words, ... as they always do.

11:51AM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

I remember having two jobs and going to college full time. My first job was when i was just old enough to work and I owned a very small buisiness at age 18. I also raked leaves,babysat,housesat,walked nieghbors dogs,took care of people's plants. All for pay. Mind you not much.
I feel for the people of today the competition is fierce the opportunities when say McDonalds was nothing more than a lemonade stand and a few hot dogs has changed to the point of insanity. it is really hard to make a living nowadays and i blame overpopulation for lack of decent opportuinty. One must really be creative and unstoppable to make it big out there now- or white male. All others good luck.
I must remind all those GOP ers out there i never asked for a penny from anyone and worked before most kids did. So I don't want to hear it! Feel for your neighbors someday you may be in there shoes.

11:39AM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

Rebekah O- I agree that there are SOME people who feel they deserve public assistance. It's frustrating to be around these people. Do something about it! The actual question is, if the GOP is pro-life, pro-family, pro-babies then WHAT assistance is the GOP going to give to these families who have kids and more kids? Are all taxpayers supposed to embrace the entire concept? What part is choice and what part is taking care of our population? Taking away WIC and government assistance will do what? I think that there are 2 goals: 1. stop people from having kids simply for publicity or government assistance. 2. Allow credits for home child rearing like there exists for expense of childcare.

A previous post about comparing pets to children. That is a ludicrous comment. Pets do not become productive citizen like children who grow up with the proper tools. Animals that are productive are not citizens though they are a business expense for those businesses that use pets (disabled assistance, police dogs, etc). At least make a child a business expense (for the family raising them to be productive!~)

11:29AM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

Luvenia V. sorry but that is one thing i didnt agree with the gop about michelle obama is trying to get the message out about eating right and exercirsing thats a good thing.

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