“If you don’t believe that childcare is work, then try telling your parents or whoever took care of you that raising you was not work.  I don’t imagine that would go over well.”  I say this in my social problems class as a counterpoint to the assertion that welfare-recipients are lazy and immoral.  Most recently the sentiment was employed to defend wealthy “stay-at-home mom,” and wife of presidential candidate, Ann Romney.  The sentiment that childcare is work is fairly uncontested when referring to the non-poor.  In class, I urge students to consider whether the sentiment is equally valid for their (likely) non-poor parents and for poor parents.  I make this statement in the context of welfare to point out that both the ability to stay at home and the status of “stay-at-home mom” are class privileges and not merely reflections of moral or ideological choices.  Indeed, even for women who have privilege the vernacular meaning of “choice” rarely applies. (more…)