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The Tentacle


February 24, 2011

Wrong On So Many Levels

Joan Marie Aquilino

There are more important issues facing us today but something has been gnawing at me since the day I became one of those stay-at-home, non-paid, working mothers.

 

Issues of late centered on comments offered by two of our Frederick county commissioners and the stance the county’s Commission for Women took prior to gathering facts.

 

It doesn’t matter what they meant, the perception was a full-on attack on white men and stay at home mothers. The Commission for Women went viral proclaiming the men out of line, ignorant as well as arrogant with their personal comments of child rearing and marriage.

 

Was this a responsible stance for those in appointed community roles? By all means discuss the situation, but don’t base a burn-them-at-the-stakes rally, ranting articles and a radio appearance without full knowledge and facts?

 

I base my comments on having been a:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with most parents, we are all full time in that job. Parenting isn’t a 9 to 5 job. It’s eight days a week, 25 hours a day at best. We do the best we can, with the time and knowledge we possess.

 

And at present; I’m working full time, enjoying my grown children and their chosen life paths. One married, working, home owning, recently returned to college, and one traveling the world teaching today’s youth.

 

The biggest obstacles most women have – unfortunately – are each other. When I first quit my paying job 26 years ago to take on my unpaid parenting job, I got the looks, blank stares and, yes, even pity of the spoken and unspoken judgments. I can honestly say I didn’t get it from anyone other than other women. The most offensive came from those who had never even come close to walking in my – or similar – shoes.

 

Funny how those who don’t, know better than those that do or did.

 

Women I admire most are those who take on whatever role given, chosen or forced upon them, and do it to the best of their abilities. I equally admire and honor women who know being a parent is not the best choice for them or a child. I’ve seen too many women fall to the pressure of giving birth only to find out later it’s not for them and pawn their children off on others to love, nurture and raise.

 

Things I don’t understand include having children when there is no means of support, knowing that full well and expecting that the government or others will support you and yours.

 

The desire to have a child, as well as the hopes and dreams that come along with that desire, can be almost uncontrollable; but, then again, when it comes to the welfare of a child, shouldn’t we have more self-control and think more about the child than ourselves?

 

I wanted to be a mother, and I would have had more had I had the means. I don’t think anyone should be denied a child, but I equally don’t think multiple children in circumstances that leave the burden of their financial and/or emotional care left to others is a good choice.

 

Adoption and fostering are loving choices and something I, too, wanted had I had a willing partner. It wouldn’t have been the best or wisest choice for the children I had, the child(ren) I wanted, or myself. I hope I made a responsible choice for all concerned by not acting on my desire.

 

After this less than pleasant rambling side trip, let me get back to the fork in the road that brought about this one-sided conversation; The Frederick County Commission for Women and their ill-informed attack on white men who dared to voice their personal preference on child rearing, family and marriage.

 

Prior to this outburst the Commission for Women never made themselves a very visible organization.

 

Then BAM the Frederick County Commission for Women hear, during recent campaigning, that they – along with other boards and commissions – could be evaluated for need. A weak at best opportunity presents itself; and, in a self-preservation move, go after what they present as a racist, chauvinistic remark toward women without having the full story.

 

Wouldn’t you think they’d first have a meeting with all members, watch the “offending” commissioners’ meeting, invite the gentlemen to attend, and only then offer an opinion statement with firsthand knowledge and the facts?

 

Instead they publically stammered when asked questions on why this came about, then proceed to back pedal, finding themselves firmly stuck in a no-win corner. There comes a time when stop and regroup is the best option. This proved itself to be one of those times. Instead, in an obvious effort to save face, they preceded forward, dividing women and men on an issue that didn’t exist except in headlines.

 

I’d like to see our Women’s Commission go back into session, regroup, figure out what – if anything – their role should be, if they equally represent all women in all walks without showing undue bias toward gender, choices or even other races; or if they are even necessary any longer.

 

They’ve already admitted they had no stay-at-home mothers on their board, so how could they possibly speak for them. We do sometimes have a need for a silent or underserved group to have advocates, but then as time and awareness become more common place the need may no longer be necessary, or all aspects are no longer fairly represented.

 

Just one woman’s opinion…

 

. . . . .’til next time. . . . .

 

Joan.Aquilino.McIntyre@gmail.com

 

Let us know what you think: Letters@TheTentacle.com

 



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