Who should raise the children?

United States
March 18, 2009 9:39pm CST
We seem to have really seen a change in direction, especially in America, where child rearing is concerned. With the women's movement in the 1970's came a notion that a woman was loosing herself if she stayed home and raised a family. We heard women cry equal pay for equal jobs, and soon found an increase in females doing very traditional male jobs. I am not saying women should not work, do not have the right work, and should not be paid equally for such work. I am saying that women have a responsibility to stay at home and raise their family should they decide to have one. It is not the duty of the husband to stay at home and do so, and he is not physically designed for such work. Yes, we could argue that with the new technology a woman is able to breast pump milk and a man could indeed stay at home and raise the children, but that is not even how our species originally developed. I think that somewhere along our development as a Nation in America we lost some very vital family structure. We lost mothers staying home and nurturing their children until they went to school. We lost the mother connection that is so vital in the development of a child. We lost the nucleus of family. I cannot say if I fully agree that is the reason for divorce in this country, but does seem to raise some questions. At one point in time we could all agree that a male was the provider and that a female was a care giver. Now those roles seem blurred and lost. If someone states that a woman should raise her children, we suddenly hear protests of how that is gender bias. What is occuring to the child rearing? Should a mother stay at home and be the one to raise the child/ren in the early years of development? Should a father be the one to stay home and raise the child/ren during their early years of development? Just how do we view these roles today? How do things work in your household? Is there resentment over these decisions? Does it work out well? Namaste-Anora
6 people like this
14 responses
@cptlo1 (93)
• United States
20 Mar 09
i like this discussion. my health teacher talked about this to us. and i belive the woman should be the care giver to the child because i just think thats the right way. lol when me and my girl was talkin bout kids tho she said she would want to stay home with the kids i said no she had to work lmao but i know now if no one home to teach the kids they going to go out and learn for them self what they think is right and wrong. i dont think the male population can do that because i think we naturally violent lol.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (25135)
• Australia
20 Mar 09
It's good to see you taking an interest and 'listening' to what people say. It's a learning curve and if you think things should go a certain way, there is always time to learn something that makes you change your mind. Well done you.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Mar 09
I'm very glad you are open to looking at both sides, and open to listening to what others have to say about the subject. Not that I want to tell anyone what to do, but it is nice to see young people taking the initiative to research, talk, discuss, and learn. Namaste-Anora
@Shawchert (1040)
• United States
19 Mar 09
I could go on with how humans have become so adaptable that we are the way we are today. I think it depends on the couple and the couple alone, it shouldn't be anyone elses right to get into another person's business unless it is truly effecting them or hurting someone within that family. I know many men who are much better caretakers than women. I also know that there are a lot of women like me who are single mother,s who have no choice but to work and take care of their little ones, and who have to leave their child in a daycare where they are taken care of by another woman or man. because we have evolved so far and adapted so well, things like this are common, and to be expected. Your family can be one way while the next is a whole different story.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Mar 09
I think I really did a poor job explaining my thoughts in my original post, and that partly to use an excuse was that our own daughter had surgery yesterday and I was functioning on very little sleep. I will state in your response as it's on the first page that I really do appreciate how everyone on this thread even if they disagree have handled themselves with maturity and civility on a very sensitive issue. It means a lot to me that all of you were able to get to the meat of what I was bringing up, and again I apologize for it being rather muddled last night. I agree that it truly does depend upon the couple, though I am now a traditionalist. I am so because when I was married to my first husband I was not allowed to stay home. He wanted our salaries to stay near the triple digits to maintain that lifestyle and so I worked. I resented it because I wanted to stay at home and enjoy my babies. I left him because he was abusive and that stayed with me, and shaped how I felt. In this marriage, we live on a meagar one salary but we never seem to have to "sacrifice" anything. We enjoy a good life and we are always with our children. If we have classes for our graduate work we schedule them so that one of us is with the children. It's just what we believe in. And I agree, some men are wonderful caregivers. My husband is an awesome provider. However, even he admits that there is a parenting difference and I work well with the children now because of their emotional needs. To him, he doesn't get the tears, crocodile or real. He thinks they should just suck it up and drive on. He kids me about giving them too much, but he says that it's truly because I'm a mother and that's what mother's do. I was a single parent for a time after leaving my ex before my children asked to go back and live with him, and I can relate. My kiddos went through a lot with my teaching schedule. They understood what I did, but they didn't like it that I wasn't there for them. In this marriage, even though I plan to return to the classroom when they go to school I won't be putting my career as first as I did during my first marriage. Does that help make a bit more sense as to what I was getting at? Mothers need to be with their children during the early parts of their life because we fundamentally work and think differently then men (this written about in the man books out there, and psychological journals available), and we do provide a great much of the emotional training for children. Though, I do know that if you must work, it just means as a single mom you have that much more to do if that makes sense. Thanks for the response. Namaste-Anora
• United States
19 Mar 09
I disagree. It's no one's responsibility or job title to do anything simply based on what gender they are. What's next? I have to quit my job to raise my daughter. When my husband comes home, do I need to be in a gingham dress with a white apron and high heels and carry my husband's pipe and slippers to him while he reads the newspaper in front of the tv? This is not 1960. This is 2009 and if a woman wants to work and raise a family, that's her concern. We lost stay at home moms due to the rising cost of living. In 1960, the cost of food and living expenses was a third or a fourth of what it is now. The man could go to work and the mom could stay home and care for the kids. Now with gas creeping back up towards $5 a gallon again, both parents have to work. I know when I was off on maternity leave, things were tight. Very tight. I know we couldn't make it on my husband's income alone. I'm not going to sacrifice our way of life so my daughter can be surgically implanted on my hip.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 09
Mystic- I'm not saying you have to stay home for all her life, I'm saying for the initial part of your child's life. What is wrong with a mother staying at home for the first five years to make sure their child is cared for? I find the entire "nanny" and "daycare" issue one that I disagree with. I know that people can live off on one income because my husband and I do it. We "chose" to do so. Though, I also admitted in previous posts that I can see how some people cannot or will not do this. It is their choice. And I'm not sure where you got that I said people need to be wearing an apron, gingham dress, etc. Though lol, I dress in Victorian style clothing because it's my witchy personality that makes me so darn eccentric. And yes, my husband does smoke a pipe, but so do I lol. What I'm hoping we're all coming to is that we the parents need to be raising our children, not society. That we need to some how get the family nucleus back. As a teacher I've heard stories about how kids don't even get one meal a day with their family. Their family is so busy doing "work" that they forget they have children. That's just not acceptable in my book. Thanks for sharing openly and honestly how you feel though. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 09
In a perfect world, yes, one of the parents would stay home and make sure the kids were looked in on. But in the world we live in, it often takes 2 incomes if not more to make ends meet. My husband and I do not live in an expensive townhome nor do we drive expensive cars. We have chosen to stay in this area and the cost of living is a lot higher than elsewhere in the USA and for that, we need two incomes. I have to work. He has to work. It's as simple as that. I enjoyed the 7 weeks I was off work on maternity leave after the birth of my daughter. I enjoyed every minute with her. I cherish every second that I get with her every day of my life and could not even begin to fathom my life without her. But in the same aspect, I was going stark raving mad at home alone during those 7 weeks. My neighbors all work. My husband worked. Yet I was at home with an infant who let's face it, wasn't much for conversation. I'm sure if it came down to it where one of us couldn't work, we'd manage. But that'd also mean moving to a much, much, much smaller apartment and getting rid of probably one of our cars and having to make sacrifices left and right. Our neighborhood is a gated apartment/townhome complex with on site security which makes me feel safe when my husband has to work late or goes out of town to visit his mother and father. I'm not willing to risk my safety to justify my quitting so I can watch my DD grow up for 5 years. I do raise my child. Yes, I'm not with her for about 9 hours out of the day, sometimes more, sometimes less. But I'm with her as much as possible. I have to work as does my husband. In order for us to be able to afford to stay where we are and enjoy the "extras" we provide for each other and our daughter, we both have to work. I don't feel guilty about leaving my DD with a sitter. Our sitter is a wonderful woman that we go to church with. We've known her for years and I trust her 100% with the care of Allison. There are very few people I trust my daughter with, but our sitter is one of them. And the gingham dress thing was a poke at Leave it to Beaver where Beev's mom was always in pearls, a dress, an apron and heels.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 09
Isn't it sad though that women (and I say for the most part because of the nature of the business of child raising) are forced into this? Why should both parents have to work? That part I've never understood. We here people complain how we lack family values, there is more crime, etc and yet we know the cause and we don't fix it. I'm lucky in that we live in a fairly decent neighborhood, but I know what you are speaking about, I'm not too naive lol. And I get the Leave it to Beaver remark lol. I'm the odd one in our neighborhood though because I truly am eccentric. I suppose when my children are older and my husband passes on I'll end up the cat woman lol. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27545)
• United States
19 Mar 09
Hi Anora! It's a nice to think of staying at home and rearing your children and it is nicer still to think that the men we marry are the "providers". The sad thing about this is that todays society hardly makes it a choice. Most homes are barely scrapping by with two incomes. Sometimes with job loss it becomes a means of survival to switch roles. I think this is a very tough thing for everyone in the family to deal with. Both men and women have a lot to offer a child but I do agree a woman is more equipped for it in terms of communication and patience. Although there are some fathers who exhibit these things too. Even in school sometimes men are better teachers than women.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 09
Jen- Thanks for sharing. I agree that some male teachers are excellent, but what I'm looking at are the first 5 years of life, before a child goes to school in most societies. I think some fathers are very good at staying at home, but I keep hearing a common thread throughout the discussions-"Barely making it". I think that may be the key to the crux of the problem. We have been conditioned to have more, need more, and want more in our American society. Hence, a lot of people cannot seem to live on less. I recall reading an article sometime back in which a woman went from a dual income of over 60K to a single income of 30K. She kept saying how her lifestyle was hurting, how she couldn't eat out every night, couldn't by all the things she wanted, and how it just wasn't fair. Now, that said, we live on a single income and we look at our life as wonderful. We're thankful each day for what we have, the time we spend together, etc. However, that took a lot of work changing our point of view and perception. Much came through meditation and our spiritual walk, but it did change. I think back to when I was in my early 20's and my attitude is much different where money and status is concerned then it was then. Namaste-Anora
@JenInTN (27545)
• United States
19 Mar 09
I agree with what you are saying about adjusting our lifestyles and living by our means. I also see where you are coming from on wanting more and needing more as berin a great part and problem within the American society but..lol..me and my buts..there are also situations beyond our control at times that limit us. If one can find a job and the other can't..male or female..it kind of takes the choice away. There is also the issue of being able to find someone that you can depend on in this day and time to be the bread winner if you are a woman. That's another subject though..honestly..I think a woman is better at home with her children during early childhood if she can make that choice.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Mar 09
I know. If we could all simply work together through the many myths that have been created in our own generation I think we'd do well as a society. Thanks again for your input. It's been very helpful I think over all to the conversation. Namaste-Anora
@MsTickle (25135)
• Australia
20 Mar 09
I'm past making decisions in this area but I really go along with your way of thinking. So many things seem to be lost these days. I don't believe a woman can give 100% to a career and 100% to raising her family. Even if she has the best husband in the world and can afford the best child care, I don't understand why a woman thinks she can do both things properly....it's not possible. Why would you want both anyway. Of course you can have both but not at the same time and not where the children don't have their Mum around (or probably their Dad) most of the time. I've been reading the other discussions while waiting for my computer to stop playing up. I think it's sad that people who are having a child or children are putting their lifestyle before the children. I hear a tinge of aggression or perhaps defensiveness when they state their opinion. If you can't afford things, why do the children have to take the back seat...what's gone wrong that they, or the family as a whole do not come first? Have people become so lazy, unimaginative or is it selfishness that leaves the raising and nurturing of kids out of the equation? How can a woman be bored when "stuck at home" with an infant? There is so much to do to make a home for a family and to keep it going. It's a huge job but has it become a task that many women these days are simply unable to do? What sort of parents will these children become, if they do? What sort of role model are these parents providing?
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Mar 09
I have to agree with you and could not have articulated this better. It's the old saying "A man can't serve two masters". I do wonder where this aggression/defensive side comes from in relationship to parenting or raising children. Why is it that it is referred to as "stuck at home", "resentment" and so forth. Someone mentioned early on or in another post that if a woman truly feels this way or a man for that matter, perhaps they should not have children in the first place. I think that is very true. Namaste-Anora
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
21 Mar 09
I agree with you. I would have happily been a career mother if I had met the right man and got married when I was younger. When I was in school and the teacher asked what we wanted to do when we left school I said get married and have children and she said that was not a career. I think she was so wrong. Sadly it never happened for me. I did not meet someone until I was too old to have children. I think that it is sad that women who have worked hard to achieve a career they love are then forced to choose between giving up their career to have children or not having children. They should be able to take time off to have their children without losing all they have worked for or be able to work shorter hours. Part of the problem is employers who want all or nothing and are not prepared to be flexible and another part of the problem is the pressure for women to produce an heir, preferably male, to carry on the family name etc and the societal pressure that tells a woman that she is not fulfilled until she has children as that is her purpose in life. Unfortunately for many women they find that having children does not magically turn them into loving mothers and they resent being stuck at home when they want to do other things. Men do not have to deal with this sort of pressure or these sort of pressures. They have quite different pressures in their life revolving around providing for their families.
1 person likes this
@Amber4106 (541)
• United States
19 Mar 09
I'm old school on this subject, so I definitely feel that the woman should stay home with the children/child until they are in school. I also understand that some households don't really have that option, and that both parents have to work to make ends meet. If a father wanted to stay home with the kids, I guess that's alright, I just think that the motherly nurturing and that mother/child bond is much greater. There are in fact some women that feel insulted when they hear that a woman should be home raising her family, but I feel the total opposite. I feel that my role in life is to stay home and raise my daughter and prepare her for the things that she will one day face in life.
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
20 Mar 09
I think it all depends on the person. I do not think that gender makes a good parent. Some men make better care givers than women but probably not that many. Maybe if we raised boys to be gentler it might make a difference, I do not know.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Mar 09
Yes, I'm definately not insulted by being a stay at home mom. And it doesn't mean I'm my husband's doormat either. My husband is willing to do what it takes so I can stay home because I want to stay home. Namaste-Anora
@ersmommy1 (12595)
• United States
21 Mar 09
I wanted to be home for my kids. When my daughter was born I went from working full time to part time evenings so my hubby could be here with her. Then I just gradually let my hours go. Now, I work from home. And we have another child. I make much less as an independent contractor. But we save $$$ in other places. It can be done for some. Even I feel bad sometimes that I do not contribute financially as much as I used to. I am glad to have the opportunity to stay home. It has to be said though that many, many moms DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE anymore it takes 2-3 incomes to raise a family. There are losses and gains on both sides of the issue. I think the biggest misconception is that women think they have to do it all. To the single moms out there my hat is off to you. When my mother was a kid, there was this "village to raise a child" ideal. You could run over to uncle, or Aunt, even had grandparents living with you by choice. I think it would be easier for parents of today to make these choices if we had more "villages" in place.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 09
You know, I like that idea of a village helping. I think that it is sad that some women are "forced" to choose, and if they choose to stay home they are demonized. I know that's what I've been hearing. We think so little of staying at home (society in general) that we've made moms feel ashamed to stay at home. And I do think it is a perspective, a point of view so to say. If we change how mothers feel about being at home, I do feel that is a start. Then, I feel we need to make it easy for mothers to stay at home during the first five years. Thank you so much for sharing. Namaste-Anora
@Citychic (4071)
• United States
20 Mar 09
Changing the way we view child rearing in this country. I must add that if you're happy with what ur getting from ur children then it could possible be viewed as having ur cake and eating it too. I suppose it just all depends on how you want to look at it. Just like how we view life, is the glass half empty or half full, it really all depends on you?....I feel like I had my cake and ate it too b/c I had experience with working out in the work force and I've gotten a lot of joy from raising children. I seriously doubt that anything would ever change in this country as far as how we view child rearing not unless the pres. decide to start paying mothers for staying home. Now that would be huge bonus and yes you might even be able to busy a few candles for that cake. Thanks for posting, E.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 09
Exactly, I think it's all on how we view the cup, nice analogy. Thanks for sharing. Namaste-Anora
@laglen (19778)
• United States
19 Mar 09
I agree with you that we lost our way. I think the mother should be home. We are built that way and our children need us. What is so wrong with the way God made us? I love being a mother. I work, but not full time. My daughter comes first and foremost. She is 15 now and I am so glad I didn't miss it!
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Mar 09
I agree, I love being a mother and this time around I'm taking full advantage of being home with my children and enjoying all of their moments. Thanks for responding. Namaste-Anora
@twoey68 (13650)
• United States
19 Mar 09
Personally, I think that if a couple decides to have children then the mother should be at home with them at least till school age then if she and hubby want to switch roles that's up to them. Ideally the mother is the one raising the kids and hubby is the breadwinner. Over the years, like you said, those roles have become lost to the point that often times hubby's working and the mother is working and the children are left on their own or stuck in daycares. It doesn't help that the cost of living is so high either. It sometimes takes two paychecks to make ends meet. To me though, it would be worth it to live a little simpler and give up some luxeries to be able to stay home and raise the kids. Some ppl though don't feel that way. Maybe that's why sometimes I like to watch the old sitcoms when dad was dad, mom was mom and the kids just grew up into good adults. [b]~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 09
I would say that it definately is a decision that a couple needs to make and both partners need to respect what the other one wants. I'm very blessed in my second marriage that my husband does not object to me staying at home even if it means less income then if I did work. We still live a remarkably abundant life and we're grateful for that. Thank you for sharing so openly. Namaste-Anora
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
19 Mar 09
Hello Anora! This is a very sensitive subject for me. My husband and I decided to have a family right after we got married. Unfortunately his salary is not enough to take care of all of us and we are older so the chances of having healthy children diminish each year. So I drop our son off at my parents house and pay them each week just like a true daycare facility. We purchase everything he needs for the week - his food, formula, clothes, diapers, wipes, etc. I was even taking his laundry home until my mother and I had a fight about it and she won - his dirty laundry stays there and she does it. I was only given 6 weeks maternity leave and only paid for 5 weeks. I pumped for him until he was 7 months old and rejected me! I would stay home with him in a heartbeat and quit my job if only I could find something at home equal in pay. That's one of the reasons I joined mylot - to get ideas as to how to make money without leaving my son every day. I'll never know if it was traumatic for him to be dropped off with my parents after spending his first 6 weeks with me. I certainly know it was traumatic for me and still is.
@Archie0 (5175)
19 Mar 09
A mother should be there with the child at their intial stages, because in my country we believe mother is the messenger of god.She is angel who can invent magic, and still the baby is in her womb her thoughts makes effects on the baby's thinkings too. the child is attached to her more than anyone in the world, because it is made from her blood and strength.We believe that a mother can give the best teachings to her child. She can make them grow and thats why she should be there with them.because children are like wet clay pots they need to be shaped at the intial stages itself otherwise they might end up to be wrong ....
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 09
Archie- I love your explanation of motherhood. I agree that our child's initial part of life shape who they are for the rest of their life and giving a good start is always the best. Thank you so much for sharing. Namaste-Anora
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
19 Mar 09
I can appreciate what you are saying and I do think that if you decide to have children it would better for the child to be raised at home by a parent and not in a child care facility but that is in an ideal world and unfortunately circumstances are not always the way we would like them to be. Yes it is natural for the mother to be the one to stay home and nurture the child and in most cases that is the way it works. What is important to remember is that everybody is different and it is up to the family involved to decide which role suits who. I wanted to be home with my daughter and nurture her for the first six years of her life and now that she is seven my husband spends more time with her while I work part-time. I don't believe that there should be predetermined roles, we are all humans and we should organize our lives in the best way for us and, if in some cases it is the man that is happier staying home and child rear so be it.
• United States
19 Mar 09
Paula- Thank you for your response, as it has given this discussion even more depth. I think you are right in that we should not have "predetermined roles" and yet we must all agree that there are some basic gender differences at work. How we communicate and so forth differs from male to female. Entire studies on this have been done. I think that balance, as you've brought up is key to the development. And yes, children raised by one or the other parent seem to be better set for the world then those who are left in daycares all day. Though, please to anyone else reading, do not think I'm putting you down if you in fact have that lifestyle because of necessity. I'm very grateful that we've been able to share our ideas on this topic and open up dialogue to see what we can do for solutions so that we know who are raising our children, what ideas they being fostered with, and so forth. Namaste-Anora
@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 09
The father may not have the equipment, but sometimes he is the more nurturing parent. And sometimes economics makes the decision for you, especially in a lousy economy like we have today, where the wife may have a job but the husband has lost his. In my family, it would be easier for my husband to quit his job because I make a lot more money. And he's really good with the kids, though he does get frustrated sometimes. But when the kids were little, we did both work. I stayed with Dearra until she was 2 months old and my mother-in-law stayed with her until 4 months. I stayed with the twins until they were 4 months old. But we couldn't afford to do more than that with housing prices the way that they are in Los Angeles. We probably could have managed it if we had stayed in Van Nuys, but we didn't think that was a good neighborhood to raise children. Mostly it works out pretty well, but a small part of me deep down inside does resent a bit that I couldn't afford to stay home with them. But then realistically if we had really wanted to do that, we could have found some way to work something out. Probably not where we were living though (not and have a house).
• United States
19 Mar 09
Oh, I agree that father's can be very nurturing, but in their own way. It's been shown countless times in many psychological journals that men are different then females, and more then just their equipment. They communicate differently, they process emotions differently, and so on. I keep hearin though that the general feeling is "we can't survive on less". It just seems sad that we've come to that line of thinking. I think it's an ego issue, but that's one of my other discussions lol. I do agree though that it needs to be a couple's decision that they decide to do, and they should do so because it works for them, not because society says they should. Thanks for sharing your story. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Mar 09
Men think very differently, no doubt about it.
1 person likes this