Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A quick response...

A certain Richard tossed out an interesting question in response to my previous post.

Does having a parent at home during the formative years have benefits?


Well, that depends on the parent. Not everyone is at their best when staying at home. It also depends on the circumstances. For example, staying at home to the detriment of your family’s financial security is not wise. Oh, and it may also depend on the child and whether they may thrive in a day care situation or be better suited for a more one on one parent on child kind of thing.

Nope…no absolutes here.

And a bitch would like to elaborate on this.

Social conservatives are some wishful motherfuckers…they are also ethnocentric and culturally homogeneous in their thinking. To assume that having a parent stay at home is universally beneficial is intellectually lazy.

And doesn't society deserve a wee bit of brain-based exertion?

Anyhoo, my mother stayed at home. She was also a demented individual. Suffice it to say, a bitch didn’t get the positives out of her stay at home parenting. Shit, my ass used to pray that someone would knock her upside the head with a job and relieve her of duty.

But fuck it…she was ‘in the home’, right?

Anyhoo, it depends on the situation. A bitch has seen some stay at home parents that absolutely are making a difference. And a bitch has seen some working parents who are hitting home runs with their family units.

Richard, there are no absolute statements that apply. This bitch thinks social policy should support the variety of decisions people must make in their family’s best interest.



GayProf said...

It seems to me that somebody who was forced to stay home could not help but resent their children, home, and partner. That can’t be good for children. Isn’t that why having an option to work not is a good thing here? But, hell, I really don’t understand why anybody wants to have a human-worm-baby anyway.

CRT Law Mama said...

well stated as always.. this bitch (er, pregnant mama) would like to know where to get that yummy flavored milk pictured above ;-)

(food products always on the brain)

Shark-Fu said...

GayProf - Too funny! A bitch, however, can understand the need to breed. My ass might not share that need, but a bitch can understand it (wink).

CRTLawMama - I'll shoot you the site, but the flavored milks are produced at a dairy in Maine.

Hammer said...

To assume that having a parent stay at home is universally beneficial is intellectually lazy.


I think i'm falling in love with you ABB...


Anonymous said...

And it bears asking that IF being a stay-at-home parent is so darn wonderful for kid and parent, why aren't men doing it? Why is the Missouri legislature not jumping right on some legislation to make it easier for FATHERS to transition from out-of-home work to at-home work?

Richard said...

I agree that that general assumption is intellectually lazy. But I also think that it should at least be considered whether or not it is detrimental to our children to have them in daycare en masse from such a young age instead of more closely bonding with the parents.
No blanket statements or universalities...just thought and discussion.
I'd also never advocate anyone be forced to do anything.

Anonymous said...

If you ran for office and I could vote for you, I would. For any office.
Of course, you'd lose because you actually speak truth and do it with rational thought.
Who wants a politician who makes sense? Go make babies, ABB.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it should also be considered if there are benefits to having both parents in well-balanced, full-time jobs?
I know I never noticed any lack in my childhood and perceive many benefits from having had a hugely successful career woman as a mother & role model. Not working was never an option for me and huge emphasis was always placed on education.
They both had a committed and active parenting partner in each other, and I think that makes a huge difference.
I really don't understand why if a couple decide to have a child, it's automatically assumed that it's the woman that has to pay the price in terms of her career, and her that's assumed to be making the 'selfish' choice by deciding to return to work.

Maven said...

I think the same way, ABB. I'll also add, that as long as the choice IS made by the parent staying at home, and as long as it doesn't cause a financial hardship... it actually could be a wonderful thing for both parent and child. But like you said there are no absolutes.

Some people do better under those circumstances; some do better in the workplace. But there should be a balance, shouldn't there?

For myself, struggling with the existential crap associated with fertility problems (i.e. "If I'm not going to be a mother, who or what will I be?"), I hypothesize about the "what ifs" if I were to have a child. No hard or fast rules, but my first instinct would be to want to stay home, even if I telecommute from home, just to have a more pronounced presence with the child during those precious years, as I would much rather have my child inherit MY bad habits than the bad habits of some stranger at a day care center.

Does this mean more quality children?


Children are human too, and as such are prone to their own dispositions.

B said...

I believe I'm smarter, developed quicker, and was miles ahead of my peers in part because both of my (by then divorced) parents worked part-time to stay home with me and split the time. And we were poor as dirt as a result of this arrangement for a number of years. Do I love them for it? I was a kid. I don't know bad things were, but I loved having them at home, and I love being who I am because of their time and energy spent with me as a child. However, I was lucky, and as always, it's all based on situation. What if I hadn't had grandparents in the area to substitute as babysitters? What if we'd been too broke and one parent had forcibly gone back to work? What if they'd fought so much that they couldn't agree on anything? Just protect the child's interests while taking care of yourself, whatever that means for you.

Crystal-Lynn said...

All y'all are crazy. The only true solution is a nanny. Paid one-on-one nurturing childcare. Or "Professional Mother" status (with salary and benefits and work history) for stay-at-home moms.

CrankyProf said...

Overall, like so many IMPORTANT (and too-often marginalized) issues, it's about personal choice, and what's best for the individual in question.

I'm lucky -- I have a kick-ass job that I LOVE, and I can manage to work PART-TIME -- and stay home with my kids during the day. I have the best of both worlds, and I am blessed and lucky as Hell.

If I DIDN'T have that safety valve of adult work and conversation, I'd be a lot less pleasant, and my kids would be pretty damn unhappy.

People have to find what works for them and go with it. TELLING people what to do -- compelling behaviors -- rarely works.

Ancrene Wiseass said...

Right on target as always, ABB!

Anonymous said...

I think it's hard to argue that having at least one caregiver who is true to that moniker - one who gives real care, who nurtures the child - is beneficial, regardless of whether that person is a man, a woman, a relative, a friend, or a hired helper. I think it's fair to say that the more time a child spends with a true caregiver, the better.

While a child can, absent such real care, nevertheless grow to a physically and mentally strong adult of many admirably qualities (like our lovely and talented hostess ABB), I think that most children who feel unwanted and uncared for by their parents struggle to become confident in adulthood - no matter the time their parents spend with them or the attention and alleged care they spend with them.

Now, it bears reiterating the point Pandora touched on: The whole idea of choosing to stay home with one's children is an *upper* middle class luxury. In today's economy, even a typical white collar salary - let's say a teacher's - won't keep four people fed, clothed, schooled, and vacationed. Since the '80s, most families need two incomes, and if the parents work for minimum or even living wages (there is a difference, remember) one or both parents/guardians may even have to work two jobs - especially if they need to pay for childcare during working hours.

To put my thoughts in context, I am single, have no children; I am not affected by this issue directly, but it affects me deeply.

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