Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Debate

Thank you to all those who joined in the discussion about stay-at-home moms and working-outside-of-the-home moms.

My generation (I was born in the 1950's) was at the beginning of the so-called "women's movement" wherein a woman was told she could "have it all" - a career, kids, and perhaps a husband (but he wasn't really a necessity in order to have children). I am beginning to see where there the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way - more and more, young women are opting to stay at home with their kids rather than sending them to day care. I am not entirely convinced that a woman can truly "have it all" without something (or somebody) suffering as a result - and typically that somebody is the woman's child. Nonetheless, there are certain circumstances where a woman absolutely has to work outside of the home, but that is NOT the circumstance which I am talking about right now.

Children, without a doubt, benefit more when a parent stays at home with them full-time. I have had numerous children who come to see me in my private practice with depression, anger, and acting out issues which can directly be associated with the fact that they have not received the proper care and nurturing from their parent(s) at home. I suspect that at least 80% of my child clientele over the years had moms who worked outside of the home. That is a statement of fact, not of judgement, OK? When I ask a child if they were granted 3 wishes, what would the wishes be, invariably the first thing out of this child's mouth is that mommy (sometimes daddy) would spend more time with her/him.

The reason why I asked you this question is because I recently had a converstion with a young girl whose mom worked three jobs - one full-time and two part-time - and these jobs weren't due to financial reasons. This girl had gotten to the point where she actually did NOT want mom to be around anymore because it would be "too weird". Here's a girl who spends at least 4 hours a day on the computer and watching tv during the school year (and more during the summer), and she would prefer to keep it that way, I believe, because she has gotten used to having a surrogate parent in the form of a tv or the computer. The touch of a remote or the "mouse" has replaced the gentle caress of a mom's hand. My heart broke for this little girl.

To all those moms who have to work - I totally understand. To all those moms who have chosen to stay at home (despite the fact that your brain kind of turns to mush at times) - I salute you. And to the moms who are like the one I described above, I pray for your child(ren). They are missing out on so very much.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger Julana said...

Amen. Nothing replaces a home, and someone needs to be there consistently to create one.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess said...

AMEN! God has given us the gift of children and we are held responsible for His gifts.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Paula said...

How sad for that girl. I really wouldn't be going back to work if it kept me from home when my kids are home. That's what's perfect about this job, it's during school hours and only during the school year. I love these types post and the direction your blog is taking.

Love ya,

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Amydeanne said...

I sure can relate to that girl. I was in the latchkey generation that's for sure!
I am now a sahm/wahm to 3 babies and struggle with it alot. I know that it is the right thing to do - to be there for my children. I just praise God that I am able to do so with the support of my hubby!

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Mrs. Diamond said...

I would be devastated if my daughters felt that way about me. I stay at home and work at home...doing home daycare. I truly do "have it all" and then some.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger jay said...

I stayed at home with my kids, thought it was important. I think human nature is needy in a barrel stave way. They taught us that in science, the lowest stave of the barrel is the most noticed, even if all the others are needed to keep the water in. The thinking that follows is that if only that component were fixed, everything would be okay. My mom had a mom who raised her kids with nannys, my mom thought if her mom would have spent time with her, everything would be okay. So she tried to do that with her kids, I have a sister who is angry with my mom because she says mom is bossy and controlling and never tried to understand her.(I don't agree with my sister, I think my mom tried her best to teach her the way she thought was right and my sister had different ideas) So I tried to be with my kids and to understand and support them. My kids think they don't need me and can't wait to leave home. Maybe I can be proud they are self confident and in the future when they are more mature they will appreciate me, but right now I just feel disrespected. So, human nature is needy and never has enough. I wonder what BIG ONE THING they will try to do different when they raise their kids.


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