~ By Dixie Andelin Forsyth
We are the mothers of every person who has ever been born. We are also the main ones who raise the people of earth. More women have strong, moral character and we have an amazing ability to ennoble men, to calm them, and to center them. One of our important areas of strength, and where we are desperately needed, is in bearing and lovingly raising our children. These are the future generation that will determine how strong, or weak, our nations remain. The best chance for children is if they come from homes where they are taught to be moral, honest, law abiding and we instill the values of work, love, and service to others.
If women want to, and are able, to raise their own children—especially while they are young enough to need childcare—their desires should be respected and admired. Many women must work outside the home and don’t have this choice. We recognize them for their strength and willingness to take on herculean schedules to make both career and child-rearing possible.
There are some countries, and even some areas in the United States, that put pressure on mothers to be in the workforce who otherwise would love to stay home and raise their children when they are very young. Among some of their arguments against stay at home mothers are:
1. They assert that women need to be working for the welfare of the nation and that those who stay home with their young ones are just lazy. By earning money, they will add to productivity and also pay taxes that will increase the wealth of their country and government.
2. If all women don’t work outside the home, there won’t be enough people to fill all the jobs and we’ll be forced to bring in immigrants to do their work.
3. Since all women aren’t equally intelligent, it’s better for government organizations—schools, daycare centers and other caregivers, to predominantly raise children.
4. No one can get by on one income.
5. Being a full-time mother and homemaker isn’t challenging and wastes one’s talents.
None of these arguments are fully valid and they vastly underestimate women. Clearly, those who harbor these beliefs are amateurs at motherhood and homemaking, and they have no real idea of what it takes to bear and raise a child. My answers to these superficial arguments are as follows:
1. Most career women are not highly paid doctors, lawyers or executives. For those who are not, it’s doubtful a legitimate case could be made that, after the cost of extra taxes and childcare, the money taken home compensates for, or is so essential, that no mother should ever consider spending the relatively few years it takes to raise a child to the point of not needing constant supervision. All women aren’t raising small children at the same time. We all have years before children and many more after children to spend in the workforce if we want to, or need to.
2. It’s doubtful that so many people are needed to fill all the jobs in any given country that no one should ever take a few years to give birth and raise their children to an age where they can go unsupervised for a few hours at a time. There are many women who either don’t have children yet, can’t have them, don’t want them, or are past childbearing years. In addition, many people still complain about there not being enough good jobs and that automation is eliminating many others.
3. Who raises children better: Moms who love their children, or an unrelated caregiver who might be kind but doesn’t really care about them and how they turn out? Though there is no guarantee of a loving mother’s success, there is even less guarantee for a paid caregiver. There is no assurance that, over the course of a child’s formative years, the paid care they get will be remotely equal to, let alone better than the loving care of a mother who ultimately wants her children to grow up to be happy, educated, and responsible.
4. Some people do get by on one income. Some can easily afford it. Others can’t. But to give this decision to a government authority who neither knows the couple or their abilities isn’t wise either. It should be up to each family to decide what they can or can’t do.
5. Those who make this claim are either amateurs—they haven’t actually had a baby or raised one—or they aren’t committed to doing a good job at it. Anyone who has been dedicated to raising their children and being a good homemaker and wife knows it takes a lot of talent, strength, and creativity to do well. If you’ve never done it, you must consider yourself inexperienced. Amateurs shouldn’t counsel professionals!
If women are supported and encouraged, wherever possible, to have babies and lovingly raise them to be good and productive citizens of a nation, their country will be strengthened and the next generation will have the best chance of being strong and well adjusted. What we do as the world’s mothers might seem small, but it’s foundational to healthy civilizations.