SAHM: a right or a privilege? - Page 12 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-17-2006, 03:00 AM
 
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For those who really want to stay at home, should strive to do so early on during the family planning stage by saving their money. If they can't save enough right now...wait a while until they have a sizeable savings, then become a stay at home mom/dad. Put off having kids for a while until their financial situation improve. Having children is a choice (most of the time).
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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Like I said, automatically elevating economic and material values over all others begs the question.

Milton Friedman indeed! : Milton Friedman was living in a dream world. We're not living in a radically libertarian society and it's grossly fallacious to dismiss individual proposals on the grounds that they would violate the imaginary rules of such a nonexistent society. You want to talk welfare? The Federal Reserve's control of interest rates is welfare for borrowers. Deductions on mortgage interest are too. Tax deductions for medical expenses are welfare for the sick. As are the student aid your doctor got which served as an incentive for undertaking such an expensive and demanding education. Don't forget all the research grants. Roads and other infrastructure are welfare. Everything should be toll. Public schools have to go, as do libraries. Be sure to kill your internet connection, because the internet was created by the U.S. government. All environmental laws should be abolished as unacceptable constraints on free enterprise; if you want clean air, you can bid on the free market for the right to pay factories not to pollute. EMTALA, that darling of Birth and Beyond, will certainly be struck down, for there's no such thing as a free appendectomy. Day care deductions are welfare for WOHPs. Federal deposit insurance is welfare for people with money to save and the banks that serve them. Minimum wage laws unjustly redistribute wealth from business owners to unskilled laborers. Professional licensing laws are welfare for people who don't have the means to investigate everyone they do business with. The war in Iraq is welfare for Dick Cheney and his buddies. All kinds of safety laws and health regulations - building codes, food inspectors, etc. - are welfare for those who lack the means to guarantee these things for themselves. Don't even get me started on rent control, farm subsidies, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Tax abatements, write-offs, incentives and bailouts of all types are welfare for big business, and by far the largest category.

But the Milton Friedman type rhetoric is useful to keep the middle class fighting over the table scraps while entertaining us with a pleasant Walter Mitty fantasy of rugged individualism. In a libertarian society, all of us who aren't independently wealthy would be SOL together. Even a high WOH income would be nowhere near enough to allow you to thrive in such circumstances. But probably all moms would SAH, because in a Darwinian social wilderness it would be foolish to so much as let your kids out of your sight; it wouldn't be safe for women to go out anyway, at least not outside the gated communities.

But, I guess that's better than the Communism that would ensue if moms and kids got a sliver of the already-existing pie.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:19 AM
 
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While I'm the first to advocate saving up before childbrith (no one is really advicating just getting preggers and begging for money from day one) this "having children is a choice" argument always bemuses me. Yes, individually, you can be responsible and take care of birth control or practice abstinence and hope you don't have an accident (I'd really take issue with the "most of the time" part of your post), and hope if so you have access to abortion and no moral problem with it. But on the macro level, species procreate. They just do. It happens.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:23 AM
 
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Umm -- the three slang dictionaries I checked on line simply state that "knocked up" is slang for pregnant. None of them indicate that it is derogatory. Also, the "you" was the general, hypothetical "you" and not directed at you personally. I, personally, was knocked up, by choice and even referred to it that way while pregnant. Much easier to say that than "fruitful with the seed of our blessed union" for example.

I do not have difficulty with subsidizing services that are available to all or services that benefit the community generally-- unemployment if someone should happen to become unemployed, fire if your house should burn down. I am also fine with support for children (education, foster care, WIC, etc.) to the extent that benefits them where they are not the adult making the choices.

What I have a problem with is subsidizing a group based solely on their lifestyle choice. Believe it or not, there are single people, people who don't want children and people who can't have children who would be barred in all circumstances from receiving the benefits. In addition -- I don't believe that you (again the general) SAH with your kids produces kids that are BETTER, or BETTER ENOUGH for the community to justify making me pay for it.

Please note I am not a Milton Friedman fan -- I just thought it was mildly funny in light of our discussion.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:28 AM
 
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"That is absolutely absurd. It is so great that even on Mothering.com I have to come and read that, after a 12 hour day or caring for two very young kids, I'm being anti-feminist, "shirking responsibility" and "getting out of working" BS."

No. What I'm saying is that if your kids are not getting appropriate food, clothing and shelter and your best plan for obtaining those things (for the foreseeable future) is having total strangers pick up the tab for you then you're not satisfying your legal duty to your kids.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:37 AM
 
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"I do not judge specific individuals, but I believe that there are many cases where you can blame the father for failing to step up to the responsibility of pursuing a better income. All the stories I hear of women who have to work because their husband just doesn't make enough: really? is he that incompetent? is the discrimination against men that overwhelming? do you live in Bizarrotown U.S.A., where the gender wage differential is actually reversed? you have to leave your babies and go look for a job because he lost his? well I've got one hell of a brainstorm for you: why doesn't he just go look for another job?!? etc etc ad infinitum"

I really couldn't believe that no one seemed to comment on the unfairness to fathers of this portion of the thread. As a former lawyer I know many men who are very unhappy with their careers, work insanely long hours, and even show up to work the afternoon after their wives give birth all in order to give their families a good standard of living. I guess its only mothers who get to be the victims of Wal-mart, the death of unions, and all the other things which are commonly cited as causing the demise of the middle class. Those men just aren't working hard enough!
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:39 AM
 
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But on the macro level, species procreate. They just do. It happens.
Yes but you can make good decisions about when and such.... If I don't want a child right now.....I don't have sex, because I know even with various birth control( such as condoms) theres that chance that I could get pregnant. If you decide to have sex, then you also should be responsible for the consequences such as getting pregnant and caring for the child out of your own pockets.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:41 AM
 
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Like I said, automatically elevating economic and material values over all others begs the question.

Milton Friedman indeed! : Milton Friedman was living in a dream world. We're not living in a radically libertarian society and it's grossly fallacious to dismiss individual proposals on the grounds that they would violate the imaginary rules of such a nonexistent society. You want to talk welfare? The Federal Reserve's control of interest rates is welfare for borrowers. Deductions on mortgage interest are too. Tax deductions for medical expenses are welfare for the sick. As are the student aid your doctor got which served as an incentive for undertaking such an expensive and demanding education. Don't forget all the research grants. Roads and other infrastructure are welfare. Everything should be toll. Public schools have to go, as do libraries. Be sure to kill your internet connection, because the internet was created by the U.S. government. All environmental laws should be abolished as unacceptable constraints on free enterprise; if you want clean air, you can bid on the free market for the right to pay factories not to pollute. EMTALA, that darling of Birth and Beyond, will certainly be struck down, for there's no such thing as a free appendectomy. Day care deductions are welfare for WOHPs. Federal deposit insurance is welfare for people with money to save and the banks that serve them. Minimum wage laws unjustly redistribute wealth from business owners to unskilled laborers. Professional licensing laws are welfare for people who don't have the means to investigate everyone they do business with. The war in Iraq is welfare for Dick Cheney and his buddies. All kinds of safety laws and health regulations - building codes, food inspectors, etc. - are welfare for those who lack the means to guarantee these things for themselves. Don't even get me started on rent control, farm subsidies, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Tax abatements, write-offs, incentives and bailouts of all types are welfare for big business, and by far the largest category.

But the Milton Friedman type rhetoric is useful to keep the middle class fighting over the table scraps while entertaining us with a pleasant Walter Mitty fantasy of rugged individualism. In a libertarian society, all of us who aren't independently wealthy would be SOL together. Even a high WOH income would be nowhere near enough to allow you to thrive in such circumstances. But probably all moms would SAH, because in a Darwinian social wilderness it would be foolish to so much as let your kids out of your sight; it wouldn't be safe for women to go out anyway, at least not outside the gated communities.

But, I guess that's better than the Communism that would ensue if moms and kids got a sliver of the already-existing pie.
Here here!
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:48 AM
 
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What I have a problem with is subsidizing a group based solely on their lifestyle choice. Believe it or not, there are single people, people who don't want children and people who can't have children who would be barred in all circumstances from receiving the benefits. In addition -- I don't believe that you (again the general) SAH with your kids produces kids that are BETTER, or BETTER ENOUGH for the community to justify making me pay for it.
Being a child is not a lifestyle choice. Your point is moot because no adults of any description would be receiving the benefit. This gets back to my original point - SAH is a benefit to the child, not the parent.

Children are members of the community. It is worthwhile to them to be in the care of their parents rather than strangers. Nobody has to prove its utility to you, anymore than you have to prove the utility to me of not letting you die of appendicitis on the sidewalk thanks to EMTALA.

Why don't you try to prove the benefit of displacing child-care resources from their natural caregivers to low-paid surrogates? Why don't you try to prove why, in a non-Friedmanian world where social benefits do in fact exist, children should be last in line?

Don't insult people's intelligence by trying to pretend the "knocked up" bit wasn't offensive.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:58 AM
 
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Yes, and children getting overlooked as part of society is integral to this whole problem really.

And it's hardly a "lifestyle CHOICE" when the choice is to stay at home full time or put a young baby in possibly substandard daycare for 40 hours a week. I'm not one to insist that staying-at-home is inherently best for all young children, but I think it is difficult to assert that 2,3, and 4 or even 8 month-old babies belong in daycare for extended periods. This does not mean I disapprove of mothers doing this, but disapprove of a system that doesn't offer longer maternity leaves or better, more affordable daycare.

But I'm so glad we have people to tell us like it is in this forum.
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:56 AM
 
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I too am rather surprised to see here on mothering.com the continuing assertion that mothering full time is "taking time off" : I see a referral to SAH as "getting out of having to work" at least once per page. This is really shocking to me. I thought it was taken for granted that mothering is hard, hard work and more than a full time job. It is not a luxury or privilige to "stay home" with my child, it is very long hours. Yet if I did those long hours caring for other people's kids, then it would be "real work" and I'd be paid for it. I may even be paid precious tax dollars if it were a subsidized daycare. Why all the arguments about "strangers footing the bill"? I think this kind of talk is just distraction, like the constant mention of fathers when the discussion is about mothers.

Michelle: obsessed crafter, Buddhist Yogini, college student, and unschooling mom of two awesome daughters 12 and 6
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Old 11-17-2006, 05:28 AM
 
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Being a child is not a lifestyle choice. Your point is moot because no adults of any description would be receiving the benefit. This gets back to my original point - SAH is a benefit to the child, not the parent.

Children are members of the community. It is worthwhile to them to be in the care of their parents rather than strangers. Nobody has to prove its utility to you, anymore than you have to prove the utility to me of not letting you die of appendicitis on the sidewalk thanks to EMTALA.

Why don't you try to prove the benefit of displacing child-care resources from their natural caregivers to low-paid surrogates? Why don't you try to prove why, in a non-Friedmanian world where social benefits do in fact exist, children should be last in line?

Don't insult people's intelligence by trying to pretend the "knocked up" bit wasn't offensive.
I have to say I agree with you. However, I do want to add that I don't think anyone can tell me that an infant or preschooler in daycare with many other children and maybe only one adult is doing as well as a child with their parent's full attention. I think I have also read that children in daycare are sick more often, often have more aggressive behaviors, and tend not to speak as early as children at home? Also, I would have to bring up that children in daycare more than likely have to have been vaxed, probably are in disposible dipes, and often (not always) are not BF. They also don't have the added benefit of possible Attachment Parenting since again the worker must care for several children. Therefore losing out on the benefits from the alternatives. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Barbara:  an always learning SAHM of Ilana (11) and Aiden (8) living in Belgium with my amazing husband.

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Old 11-17-2006, 05:33 AM
 
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I think I have also read that children in daycare are sick more often,
yep, one of my old coworkers had kids in daycare and she was constantly having to take days off work because they kept getting sick in there. Ultimately when it came down to laying someone off they chose her. I think she got unemployment at least.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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Old 11-17-2006, 05:45 AM
 
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"Children are members of the community. It is worthwhile to them to be in the care of their parents rather than strangers. Nobody has to prove its utility to you, anymore than you have to prove the utility to me of not letting you die of appendicitis on the sidewalk thanks to EMTALA."

The utility of EMTALA to you is not that it prevents me from dying on the sidewalk, but because it exists to prevent you from dying on the sidewalk.

"It is worthwhile to them to be in the care of their parents rather than strangers."

That is an incredibly broad statement and makes a huge assumption. For some children it may be worthwhile to have a SAHP but for others it may not be or could even be harmful. It would be interesting to ask a group of high school or college seniors what they most value -- universal health care, increased college and vocational training aid, ensuring the survival of medicare and social security (so their parents never have to come live with them) or having a SAHP.

Re: "getting knocked up" -- please don't assume that everyone has the same sensibility. In my experience this is not viewed as derogatory and I have never had anyone be offended by my use of it prior to now.
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Old 11-17-2006, 06:01 AM
 
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ok i didnt read all the pages. skimmed some stuff.

i was a SAHM for the first few years of my sons life. we were poor, but it made no sense for me to work cuz childcare would take most my wages. ( i did take part time college here and there diring that time, but DH had a flexible work schedule and could take a lunch break for my class)

now i am separated from my STBXH and am trying to finish my degree. it is totally stupid for me to try to work , because i currently earn what i would have to pay a sitter. but when i wasnt working my STBXH would not give me as much childcare support and would not give me any $$ child support, except for DSs preschool. so now i work and see DS less. just so his dad, who thinks SAHM is "time off" will help me out more.

ds has never been to daycare. i dont think i would have gone full time to school this semester if he couldnt be in preschool. however, i would give anything if i could have him in preschool only 2-3 days a week. he is in 30 hours a week now!

i think SAHM is WORK! it is hard! i have done it! i also think what i am doing now is REALY REALLY HARD. they are both hard for dif reasons. but i would way rather be with my son most of the day, if money were no object it is what i would do. i think it should be a right, and it is mainly for the priveledged , right now.
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Old 11-17-2006, 06:35 AM
 
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"knocked up" has always meant, to me, to my peers, and in the media, as an unplanned and unwanted out-of-wedlock pregnancy. It is very offensive.

If one believes their children are just as well-off in daycare as they are with them, one would be correct. Not every mother is interested in spending 24/7 with their children. But I am 1,000% more dedicated to the comfort, development, health, happiness and spiritual growth of my child than any stranger, friend, or non-nuclear relative could ever be. I KNOW my son is better off in all areas under my and my husband's care.

Sometimes mothers have to work for pay outside of the home. That is a fact. These mothers are fully capable of compensating with extra care, devotion, and attachment parenting techniques when they are home. That is not supposed to be the debate here.

The question is, should SAHMING be a right? And my answer is yes. If childcare can be subsidized, why can't SAHMing? Why isn't unpaid childcare by a parent seen as real work, when paid childcare by a stranger is? Why does it make economic and social sense for me to go to a paid job and get the government to give me free or cheap substandard childcare when I could leave that job for someone else and give my own child superior care, or at the very least take off enough time to care for my infant until he is not as dependent on my breastmilk and the proximity of my feel and sound and smell? Why isn't caring for tomorrow's leaders and workers and teachers and parents seen as a valuable contribution to society and a benefit to the masses?

Mothering Magazine itself was established to promote the value of connected, devoted parenting, including homeschooling, which would almost invariably require a SAHP. It is a celebration of motherwork as real work and worthwhile work. It is bothersome too see it's forums tolerate posts that claim otherwise.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:01 AM
 
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I haven't read through this entire thread because it's ... very long. But I have a response for the OP. I think you're really talking about two different issues here. Issue #1 - Is staying at home a right or a privilege?
Issue #2 - Is your acquaintance asserting her right to be a SAHM by doing so despite not being able to meet her children's basic needs; or is your friend SAH because she wants to and is not adequately concerned with meeting her children's basic needs? From the bit that you've said in your OP, I almost get the impression that there's a lot more to it. Maybe she could meet basic needs if she prioritized or budgeted? Maybe she's only staying home because she just doesn't want to work? I'm not sure I don't think this is enough to go on, but if you are saying that her kids don't have adequate food, clothing, etc. then perhaps someone should step in and do something. If it ISN'T bad enough to call for intervention, then maybe what you are considering "basic needs" really are not? I have no idea, this is pretty deep.

As for the first issue; I think don't think it is either. I refuse to say it's a privilege because in a lot of cases, one parent is forced to stay at home (whether they want to or not) because child care would cost more than they would make working. And I can't say that it is a right, because in order for it to be so, people who SAH would be supported by their communities, governments, etc. which I think isn't quite the case now. Perhaps you could say that it SHOULD be a right, but presently I think that it is not.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:08 AM
 
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Not one of us has said that taking care of children is not hard. I have been a SAHM, WOHM, and am currently a fulltime student taking online classes and part time WAHM. I have a 9 yr old, a 7 yr old with high functioning autism, and a toddler who is almost 2. Think I don't work hard?

I feel that it would be great to be able to help women (or men) stay home with a baby for a time. Even thought I feel that having children is a choice, I can still see the benefit of having a SAHP. However, my main question has never been approached as far as I can see. (if I missed it, my apologies)

Okay, say the US enacted a subsidy for SAHPs. Here are my questions:

What do you think should be the limits? How long should the govt. pay the SAH? Should there be a cap of some sort? Because, although it is nice to stay home, I personally wouldn't be comfortable having child after child, in a row, and being subsidized, somehow, to do it.

What do you think?
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:44 AM
 
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I think I have also read that children in daycare are sick more often, often have more aggressive behaviors, and tend not to speak as early as children at home? Also, I would have to bring up that children in daycare more than likely have to have been vaxed, probably are in disposible dipes, and often (not always) are not BF. They also don't have the added benefit of possible Attachment Parenting since again the worker must care for several children. Therefore losing out on the benefits from the alternatives. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Wow, that is an EXTREMELY broad brush you're painting with!

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Old 11-17-2006, 09:55 AM
 
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Wow, that is an EXTREMELY broad brush you're painting with!

Yes, very broad. How many posts have I seen on the GD board where the kids are hitting, kicking and even SPITTING on their parents? That is violent. Also, I have known several SAHM friends who exclusively BF and their children have been sicker than my #3, who was not BF due to medical problems on my part. My son has never had an ear infection, nor has he ever been on antibiotics. The worst illness has been a cold. A minor one at that.

Also, I know some gals whose children are in daycare and who speak better than my oldest did, and he was at home until kindergarten. My youngest does speak better than the oldest did, but I think that has to do with having older brothers. (middle child was speech delayed due to Autism)
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:04 AM
 
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What do you think should be the limits? How long should the govt. pay the SAH? Should there be a cap of some sort? Because, although it is nice to stay home, I personally wouldn't be comfortable having child after child, in a row, and being subsidized, somehow, to do it.
What do you think?
I think the govt should pay the SAHP as long as the child is at home full-time--not in school. This would mean that children who are homeschooled would continue to receive the subsidy until they are no longer under their parents care (possibly 18?) however children who go to school would not. I also think the subsidy should be for each child, regardless of the number of children a family has. I also wonder as I write this, if perhaps the subsidy could take the role of a tax credit. I mean WOHP get childcare deductions--perhaps it could be something like this?!!?

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Old 11-17-2006, 10:26 AM
 
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I think the govt should pay the SAHP as long as the child is at home full-time--not in school. This would mean that children who are homeschooled would continue to receive the subsidy until they are no longer under their parents care (possibly 18?) however children who go to school would not. I also think the subsidy should be for each child, regardless of the number of children a family has. I also wonder as I write this, if perhaps the subsidy could take the role of a tax credit. I mean WOHP get childcare deductions--perhaps it could be something like this?!!?
Okay, but should this continue if the woman decides that she likes this subsidy thing and has several children? Should there be a limit of some sort?

I don't know. It sounds good in theory, though.
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:58 AM
 
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I have to say I agree with you. However, I do want to add that I don't think anyone can tell me that an infant or preschooler in daycare with many other children and maybe only one adult is doing as well as a child with their parent's full attention. I think I have also read that children in daycare are sick more often, often have more aggressive behaviors, and tend not to speak as early as children at home? Also, I would have to bring up that children in daycare more than likely have to have been vaxed, probably are in disposible dipes, and often (not always) are not BF. They also don't have the added benefit of possible Attachment Parenting since again the worker must care for several children. Therefore losing out on the benefits from the alternatives. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Um. this is really bordering on the offensive. There are AP families that use daycare for their kids. By the way vaxxing and cloth dipes are more in the realm of NFL as I understand it.

Gotta go.

Shay

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Old 11-17-2006, 11:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
Adults make sure that both they and their children are provided for. "Universal" duty indeed -- how do we decide who gets out of working and who has the duty to support all those who don't have to? And once again -- I don't believe that you can show me sufficient reliable evidence that the children of SAHM's turn out so very much better than those of WOHM's to justify welfare for SAH's. I mean -- wouldn't it be great if the government subsidized cosmetic dentistry for all citizens? We'd all feel so much more self-confident, and smile so much more and the country would be such a happier place! But is the benefit worth the expenditure? I say NO.
One: "How do we decide who get's out of working." -- WHA??? Have you stayed home with your kids? Are you aware that being a SAHM is actually work? I have had different kinds of paying jobs, and I have a Masters Degree from Harvard. Being a SAHM is much harder than anything I have ever done before.

Two: as for kids of SAHM turning our better than kids of WOHMs -- there is no evidence because there have never been any substantial studies.

Three: Comparing taking care of your teeth to taking care of your children...that's really, really sad. Do you really value teeth as much as children?
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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[QUOTE=alisaterry;6560269The question is, should SAHMING be a right? And my answer is yes. If childcare can be subsidized, why can't SAHMing? Why isn't unpaid childcare by a parent seen as real work, when paid childcare by a stranger is? Why does it make economic and social sense for me to go to a paid job and get the government to give me free or cheap substandard childcare when I could leave that job for someone else and give my own child superior care, or at the very least take off enough time to care for my infant until he is not as dependent on my breastmilk and the proximity of my feel and sound and smell? Why isn't caring for tomorrow's leaders and workers and teachers and parents seen as a valuable contribution to society and a benefit to the masses?

Mothering Magazine itself was established to promote the value of connected, devoted parenting, including homeschooling, which would almost invariably require a SAHP. It is a celebration of motherwork as real work and worthwhile work. It is bothersome too see it's forums tolerate posts that claim otherwise.[/QUOTE]

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Old 11-17-2006, 11:13 AM
 
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I am locking this thread for review. I hope to reopen it soon.
Thank you for your patience


update.....
After reviewing this thread I have decided to keep it closed. There was some great dialog, but unfortunately there ended up being alot of debate and demeaning comments regaring lifestyles.
Please review our forum guidelines and the UA
Thank You

Sandy, proud mama and henna artist. :
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