[In] a speech President Obama made in Rhode Island today, … he … took an absolutely bizarre swipe against stay-at-home mothers:
“Sometimes, someone, usually Mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result,” he said. “That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”
Here are three problems with his argument.
1) It Exists In A Fantasy Realm
Putting the absolute best construction on this statement, we might say President Obama misspoke. Perhaps he meant to say he doesn’t want mothers to have to choose between staying home and lower future wages. I mean, he didn’t say “I don’t want mothers forced to make this decision,” but we could imagine he might have wished he’d said it.
2) Too Much Focus On Market-Based Metrics Of Success
At the same time, I’m struck by how shallow our discussion of parenting is. Of all the things to note about how parenting changes you, the craziest is the idea that the only thing that really matters is income. Yes, I traded income for more time with my children. And I still do.