Today the majority of households need two incomes to make ends meet. This is, in part, because of the rise of feminism and the demand for cheaper labor and jobs moving overseas. A job at the local auto plant that used to be sufficient to raise a family no longer exists. This was the beginning of the breakdown of the traditional family and the start of the lonely latchkey kid.
Many feminists viewed women who stayed home to be wives and mothers as insignificant to society. They were looked down upon as something less than second-class. Feminist Betty Friedan once said, “If a woman’s role in life is limited solely to housewife/mother, it clearly ends when she can no longer bear more children and the children she has borne leave home.” To suggest a woman’s life is over once her children are grown is insulting, to say the least. If a family can afford to, and a woman chooses to stay home to raise her children, it is not only her right, but many times is a healthier and more selfless decision for them.
Amber Scorah gave birth to a healthy boy named Karl. She struggled with the decision to go back to work after her three months of maternity leave were up, so she asked her employer for more time. The HR department told her there was “no system in place” that would allow her to receive more time, leaving her with the options of returning to work or quitting. Feeling that she had no choice, Scorah returned to work.
She said she justified the decision a “million ways…as one justifies when one has run out of alternatives.” After a long search, she and her partner, Lee Towndrow, finally settled on a daycare for Karl. To their horror, their baby died just two hours after they dropped him off from causes that were “undetermined.”
Scorah wrote a heartbreaking op-ed in the New York Times, putting the blame on the culture we live in today: “I wasn’t just up against the end of my parental leave. I was up against an entire culture that places very little value on caring for infants and small children.”
There is no better caretaker for a baby than her own mother.
For moms who have no other choice but to go back to work, at the very least, make sure the daycare or nanny knows CPR and the children are being cared for in an accredited facility.
Do you think mothers should have more than three months’ maternity leave? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.