04 Nov Are Mothers “Full and Equal Participants in the Economy”?
Over the past few days, there has been an uproar among conservative Americans surrounding President Obama’s speech on October 31 at Rhode Island College. After he opened with a few jokes, mentioned going trick-or-treating with Michelle because his girls “are too old” and spent a few minutes extolling the virtues of his administration’s accomplishments, he finally got down to business with this statement,
“And today, here at RIC, I want to focus on some common-sense steps we can take to help working families right now. In particular, I want to zero in on the choices we need to make to ensure that women are full and equal participants in the economy.”
OK, that sounds promising-helping women be equal participants in the economy may be a good thing-but as he continued his speech, his point became clear that in order for this to happen, women must be in the workplace, not at home with their children.
He mentioned parents who “have no choice but to put their kids in cheaper daycare that maybe doesn’t have the kinds of programming that makes a big difference in a child’s development.” Programming? Is that what they do at daycares? Program children? President Obama continues with the infamous statement that has been quoted many times:
“And sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”
Ouch. That’s not a choice we want Americans to make? Note that he did not say, “that’s not a choice we want Americans to HAVE to make.” It’s simply not a choice “we”, whoever that is, want Americans to make.
Mom or Pre-school
President Obama continues, “So let’s make this happen. By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool, and let’s make sure that we are making America stronger. That is good for families; it’s also good for the children, because we know investing in high-quality early childhood education makes all the difference in the world, and those kids will do better.”
We are making America stronger by having millions more children in “high quality preschool?” Unfortunately for those children, when the government preaches “high quality early childhood education”, it means more and earlier academics, which is the opposite of what preschool children need for brain development and optimal growth.
So the goal is to get as many women in the workforce as possible and have the government in charge of daycares and preschools for millions more children, and that goal is better for families? (If you are not familiar with this speech, see the full transcript here there are also good commentaries here and here)
Mr Obama, being a stay at home mom is what my life’s purpose is. I am a mother of 8 children. Let me explain why I choose to stay home with them and why that is better for my children, and society.
10 Reasons I choose to be a stay at home mom (in no particular order):
- Because I stay at home with my children, nobody else knows them as well as I do, and as a result, I am much better at guiding them in the directions that will help them most. We have wonderful, substantial conversations.
- I get to teach my children how to garden, grow their own food, and eat healthy. We love spending time together in the kitchen making yummy and healthy things to eat, and our family dinners are central to our family culture.
- I love to slow down and look into my child’s eyes and really see the greatness in them as we spend quality and quantity time together.
- As a homeschool mom, I have an opportunity to teach my children many things. We love learning together. I thoroughly enjoy watching my children’s delight at learning something new.
- I can care for my children and work from home, scheduling clients according to the needs of my family. I can take time off whenever my family needs me, and I am free to create a small business to help support my family while I raise my children at home.
- I teach my children values and principles so when they grow up, they will have a solid foundation to stand on. They will respect, serve and love others as well as live their lives with integrity.
- I am free to take them to the park, the museum, or any number of wonderful activities when everyone else is at work.
- I am here for my children when they are ill. I have the privilege of nursing them back to health, without the stress of missing work or a deadline.
- I love to watch my children in free play and pretending. They are so creative and it’s entertaining to hear their conversations as they work up a new plot. I also love to jump in and play with them. Play is central to their learning when they are little.
- I get to spend at least an hour every morning reading out loud to my children. We love our reading time. Reading together is great bonding for a family. We talk about what we are reading and learn valuable life lessons from the characters and situations in the book.
That’s 10 already, and I haven’t even gotten to the most important one, so here it is:
- By staying home with my children and creating a family culture of love, respect, learning, understanding, forgiving, working and playing together, I am raising children who will be mature, hard-working adults who love and serve others and positively contribute to society. They will not be dependent on government to take care of them, but instead, will take care of themselves and their families.
That, Mr. President, is how I choose to be a “full and equal participant in the economy.” Being a stay at home mom is much more important to me than any “programming” or “education” my children will “benefit” from in government run daycare or preschool. It is also more important than any wage I could earn. Being a mother is the most important job I am doing in order to benefit society and my family. I applaud dedicated mothers everywhere.
Moms, you are doing great work!