wow, some great points here.
Yes, we as mothers need to be supported so that we can be as fabulous mothers as we can be. It is confusing to me that the only help we have available to us is done so that we cannot actually raise our kids ourselves - but have somebody else do it. It really begins to look like every move we make under our government is to stimulate the economy, and that anything and everything that is true and good about us and about life (motherhood, family, tribe, nature) does not matter.
Children belong with their mothers and/or fathers. If it is someone's preference to put their child in daycare, or someone else, so be it. A mother should have the right to breast feed, in person, for as many years as it takes. Our society needs to support mothers - society needs to work around mothers, not the other way around. Someday I hope a mother and/or father's actual presence and touch will be worth as much as food and shelter.
I believe it is our god-given right to raise our babies ourselves. Our society, our government should encourage this, should support this. This is OUR country. Not their country. And our government should be an extension of our own beliefs, needs, and desires.
I have known a bad mother. I don't use that term lightly. She lost the right to raise her children. But what we need is community. We need to help each other, and when you have a bad mother on your hands, the mother needs to be rehabilitated or community needs to intervene so that the children are safe. I know that some people abuse the system. She was one of them. And then there's people like me that should be making more use of the system than I do. I need to be with my children. I have to be. But I certainly feel the pressure that I am not *supposed* to be (with them). I am suppose to let them go, so that I can get a job, collect all the assistance. But I can't do it.
I believe we need a whole system change. And like someone else said - stay at home jobs, or jobs where we can take the kids with us, if need be. Better wages so that all wages can afford a decent living. And so that families can have at least one parent there at all times. But Ideally I'd like to see children having ample time with both parents, while also being contributing members of society. And single mothers that don't have their needs met, yes they should be helped so that they can be at home with their babies, if they desire it so, and I'd even like to see mamas have the right to homeschool as well. But also given the opportunity to provide work to society, and in a way that works AROUND what they need to do as mothers, and doesn't interfere with it. And in these situations, as any, it should be made sure that single mamas are taking care of their babies good and right, that there is no abuse or neglect going on, that funds go where they are supposed to go, etc.