Mother's Day 2012 is coming up, and the recent Ann Romney versus Hilary Rosen flap has focused attention on the issue of mothering as a job. If it's the hardest job of all, as our blogger believes, why don't parents get the same training as workers in other tough jobs?
Andrew Laker/The Republic/AP
Thanks to Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comment about Ann Romney (stay-at-home mom and wife of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney) never working a day in her life, the subject of mothering has come to the fore once again – just in time for Mother’s Day.
While I believe that parenting, whether done primarily by a mother or a father, is indeed the hardest and most important job anyone will ever undertake, I do not think that society as a whole gives mothering any more than lip service. Take Mother’s Day. On Mother's Day we give moms a pat on the back, fulfilling our obligation. And then we're done with it.
If being a mom is really the hardest job, then why do we not feel the need to go beyond this once-a-year recognition and give parents every opportunity to do the job well?
We certainly consider doctoring a critically important job, hence the years of training necessary to do it. We need education to drive a car, fly a plane, work in a bank, be a neighborhood watchman. But giving birth requires no education at all. We place so little value on the job of mothering that it’s easy for a highly educated woman to make the comment that Mrs. Romney has never worked a day in her life.