Skip to comments.A Paradigm Shift in Parenting
Posted on 11/30/2004 2:28:45 PM PST by Lorianne
click here to read article
Thank you for posting this.
My thinking is that the feminist movement really did not accomplish a whole lot. Men simply got women into the workforce on their terms, and got to pay for abortions and write checks for child support instead of taking real responsibility for the children they produce. It's a great deal for men, but it still stinks for women. We have "choice," but if we decide to have the children, we only have lousy choices - quit working and give up our rewarding careers, or have our kids raised by strangers. Nothing about the workplace has changed to accommodate families with children. Feminists were so afraid of women's futures being tied to their children (which would undercut the arguments for legal abortion on demand) that they failed to push for such changes. So women have not really been liberated at all, and children have been hurt.
A real feminist movement would be agitating for more flextime, telecommuting, and job-sharing for women, and for all-day schooling for kids. And for more restrictions on divorce.
It isn't just the feminist movement. The cost of living forces families to work multiple jobs to handle all the bills. And that doesn't always work either.
Dads need to think more about the kids as well. I know too many dads who are lawyers and executives working 60- and 70-hour weeks and never see their kids except to tuck them in bed once in a while. They can afford for the moms not to work, but they are in effect single moms and the kids suffer from not having real dads.
You are right. Our tax policies have forced too many moms to work and too many dads to work more than one job or a job with long hours. Our culture encourages consumption and spoiling of children with too many things that parents feel they have to pay for. Many parents have to work to afford private school because the public schools are so bad. There are many things we could do as a society to help parents be able to spend more time with their kids.
Interesting post. I wonder what the author's attitude is concerning sending children to Pre-K? I have some real misgivings about the Pre-K concept, but some school administrators swear by the improved results in reading, etc that you see in children who attend Pre-K.
My wife was laid off from her job in June '03 and it was the best thing to happen to us. Money is tight but she would have never quit without being forced. As a result, my two- and four-year-old daughters have had their mommy around for nearly a year and a half. Not every day is a good day, but our family is better off emotionally (if not yet financially).
quote from a response in this thread
"The cost of living forces families to work multiple jobs to handle all the bills"
um... If most people actually added up the cost of their wives jobs, including everything from work clothes, to gas, to day care, to the higher income tax bracket that the extra job puts them into ...
Most would realize they are working for nearly nothing, and are cheating their children and themselves of the most important moments in life.
That said, I will look for this book. It seems to make many important points and is long overdue in the national debate.
Actually the math you describe only applies to people living above their means and well above the poverty line. For two earner families in the lower income brackets, both jobs are important.
Also, it is the lower income worker, not necessarily the female parent, who's income is going to pay for the cost of working in the first place.
"We have "choice," but if we decide to have the children, we only have lousy choices - quit working and give up our rewarding careers, or have our kids raised by strangers"
Real choice: Don't have kids with the above thoughts....
"Our culture encourages consumption and spoiling of children"
Remember key word: NO!
Don't blame this on the feminists.
Back in the 50s labor saving devices meant that men could have hot meals, clean clothes, and a neat place without needing a wife. In fact if you look at 50s and early 60s books, movies, and tv, the stay at home bourgeous wife was often depicted as a materialistic castrating parasite who spent her husband's paycheck on status symbols and did nothing but watch soaps, gossip on the phone, and do her nails. The labor of a stay at home wife was unnecessary so she wasn't worth her keep. More and more men preferred to avoid marriage, creating a new class of single urban "swingers". "Playboy", Thunderbirds, pony cars, and the whole double martini Rat Pack lifestyle were created for this new market full of disposable income.
When the sexual revolution and no fault divorce hit, men were free, free to dump their deadweight Bettys and Janets and go chasing after Julies and Jennifers. Feminism didn't kill the 50s marriage. Men killed it because it no longer served their interests to be a woman's lifetime meal ticket, particularly a woman they no longer wanted. Feminism was the logical response. The media at the time was full of horror stories about Bettys and Janets who after divorce and community property split were now expected to support themselves at age 50 without any marketable job skills. Younger women saw this and determined never to have their socioeconomic survival dependent on any man's hormones. The only way to always have marketable job skills is to never stop working.
This has nothing to do with taxes.
The advent of the two income family coincided with the explosion of the cost of the nice house in the suburbs with the good school district as middle class whites poured out of cities in the 70's. That house costs two paychecks. Period.
Sorry to hear about your mom being miserable. My Mother wasn't and she was a stay at home mom. As a stay at home mom who gave up a "rewarding career" I am offended that you call it a lousy choice. I find it even more rewarding (although just as stressful at times) than my former job. And I really don't like it when other women ask, "do you have a degree?" as if being a stay at home mom is only the choice of an uneducated dope. I have a degree in computer and information science. I made a choice to stay at home and raise my kids.
We don't have new vehicles, fancy clothes, or expensive vacations but we have a very close family that I wouldn't change for the world.
Most pre-k situations are only for people living below or at the poverty level (at least in Texas). I would venture a guess that most of the children in non-disadvantaged homes do not need pre-k at all. It is designed for the children who will probably not get what they need from their parents.
For those families well above the poverty line the second earner has the potential to earn far more than the cost of working. For those lower income families the cost of the second income is proportionately higher.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.