One of my grandmothers raised five sons in addition to three daughters. If anyone had ever told her she never worked a day in her life she would have taken after them with a broom. And a lot of other women would have cheered her on.
When I heard someone had said that Ann Romney, mother of five sons, had never worked a day in her life, it sounded like something Hillary Clinton might have said. I was off one "l" in Hillary and the last name. It was Hilary Rosen echoing Hillary Clinton.
Nobody kept the mommy wars more stirred up than the Clintons. No other administration continually released such a steady barrage of "studies" and "news releases" touting the advantages of day care, the need for more government-funded day care and the marginalization of women who had chosen to stay home and raise kids.
It was tiring. Grating. Like a toddler that keeps yelping, "Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?" until the mother snaps and says, "Enough already!"
The post-Clinton truce on the Mommy Wars and the ensuing silence has been lovely. Peaceful, even.
Either young mothers of my daughters' generation are less defensive about their choices than mothers of my generation, or maybe everyone is just tired, but it seems that the animosity of the Mommy Wars had faded.
Get a group of responsible women together and they will likely nod their heads in agreement with a quote from Edith Schaeffer who wrote, "Someone has to make the family a career."
That same group of women will also nod their heads in agreement with the customer service rep who helped me with my Internet bill by phone recently. We chatted about money and the economy while waiting for computer screens to pull up. A single mother of three, she said, "I can't think about what I wanna do, I've got to think about what I gotta do."
Most thinking women are able to appreciate a wide spectrum of circumstances. And then the flamethrowers arrive. They manage to hurl jealousy into every single debate. The green poison is evil.
I can only imagine what raising five boys must have been like. Something tells me it wasn't peeled grapes and palm fans.
The cleaning, the laundry, the raised toilet seats, the dirty tennis shoes, the mildewed towels, the testosterone, parent-teacher conferences times five, learners permits and driver's licenses times five, graduations and holidays, shopping for jeans, shirts, shoes and groceries, late night talks, early morning talks, the endless shuttling to soccer fields, baseball diamonds and football practice and lining five boys up for church every Sunday. In addition, Ann Romney contended with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer. Who's jealous now?
Ann Romney may not have received W-2 statements the first of every year, but Ann Romney worked.
Perhaps we would all do well to remember two bits of advice that our mothers gave us and that we gave to our children.
Keep your nose on your own face.
And play nice.