News & Politics

WaPo Defends Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads: They're Laborers Too!

Two parents with their daughter. Source: Anna Pruzhevskaya / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day is focused on “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” As I wrote yesterday, it’s a ridiculous holiday and Marxist on top of it. If there’s one holiday we should get rid of, it’s this one.

Having said that, the Washington Post‘s Christopher Ingraham makes a strong case for actually expanding Labor Day to focus on more “workers”: “the uncompensated labor of moms and dads whose primary occupation is child-rearing and managing their households.” He writes:

As any stay-at-home parent will tell you, there’s little down time. There’s the obvious work of caring for a child, which is particularly intensive in the years before he or she starts school. But the job also typically requires maintaining a household, fulfilling a host of duties such as cleaning, shopping, meal prep and managing the family’s finances and schedules. It’s not uncommon, either, for stay-at-home parents to take on elder-care duties when relatives become infirm.

Since the Department of Labor focuses on workers’ contributions to the economy, however, Ingraham finds it important to try and calculate how much stay-at-home moms and dads add:

In Washington, for instance, infant care averages out to about $24,000 per year, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank. The average cost for a year of day care for a 4-year-old is about $19,122. Multiply those figures by the number of kids in the home and you get a pretty good sense of the economic value of stay-at-home parenting.

And that’s not all. As he also explains, several studies have found that there are significant benefits for children who spend more time with their parents, “especially for children in two-parent, middle-income households.” Happy children often grow up to be happy and productive adults. And happy adults add significantly to the economy. Yay!

So? Let’s include stay-at-home moms and dads in the Labor Day festivities?

No. As I argued yesterday, let’s get rid of Labor Day altogether. There’s no need for such a Marxist holiday in a free, capitalist country.

Having a day dedicated to the moms and dads who choose to stay at home to take care of their kids, however? Now that’s a marvelous idea!