CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Children Go to the Back of the Queue

Mar 4, 2019

That the West has a schizophrenic view of children and their wellbeing is an understatement. We go on and on about not separating children from their parents, as in debates over refugees and asylum seekers, but we extol as a human right the slaughter of unborn children. Um, it makes no sense to be pro-child in terms of immigration while at the same time celebrating things like abortion.

There are so many other areas in which we put children at the end of the line, even though we claim to have their best interests at heart. The entire push for all parents to be in the paid workplace, and simply leave our kids to be raised by strangers, is a massive part of this.

We think our kids are resilient and can somehow thrive while spending 8-12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, in some day care centre. And we have managed to convince ourselves that we can do this basically from day one of the child’s life.

Let me offer one clear illustration of this which just occurred hours ago. I was once again standing in line at a local Post Office. I am convinced that the main service a Post Office offers is not to sell you stamps or mail your parcels, but to get you to stand in long lines for as long as possible – but I digress.

As I awaited my turn, two parties in front of me started up a conversation. A youngish woman was standing behind a younger couple with a baby in a pram. The woman asked how old the baby was. ‘Sixteen weeks’ replied the couple. The woman said she had a 14-week old child.

But then she said she went back to work six or eight weeks ago (I forget which). The couple was a bit taken back, with the father saying, ‘that’s a bit young’. However, the mother quickly and cheerily replied: ‘Well, I just bought a new house and a new car. I have to pay them off.’

From what I could gather she may have been a single mum as well, and day care was her remedy for getting back into the paid work place. So there you go: a baby that is barely a month old is pushed off into day care to be raised by complete strangers so that mum can make more money.

Now I am not picking on this particular mother – there would be millions more just like her in the West today. And the need to earn an income is not being disparaged here. Even if she is not a single mum, but has a husband – or a partner – one must ask why government policies tend to penalise single-income families.

Why is it becoming more and more difficult for a family to survive without having both parents in the paid workplace? But I have long ago addressed these sorts of issues. See this article for example: billmuehlenberg.com/2008/05/29/home-truths-about-working-families/

But what this mother was doing is an all-too familiar practice now, urged on by feminists for well over a half century. The line being sold to all Western women is this: the only good woman is a career woman. A stay at home mother is a second-class citizen who is wasting her life. Only those in the paid workplace are real, liberated women – all the rest are slaves and dupes.

This propaganda has become the accepted wisdom, and stay at home mums really are treated as social pariahs nowadays. And as mentioned, this shows the schizy mindset we have: we say we want what is best for our kids, but we usually do what is worst for them.

Indeed, the debate over paid day-care has raged for many decades now. So many experts have done careful studies on the overwhelming importance of mother-child bonding, and how absolutely essential this is for the child’s optimal development – certainly for the first year, if not for the first three years.

But all that is being denied most children today. How very few mothers there are who know the value of being with their children at these important stages of their lives. Most women – and men – have sadly bought the feminist indoctrination which declares that the most important thing is for them to get straight back into the workplace – and baby will be just peachy.

But the research on this tells us otherwise. This too I have documented for many years now. Let me quote from one of my earlier pieces – a book review:

What about the effects of day care on children? Is it really harmless? Hunter examines a number of studies which show that children who are abandoned physically and emotionally in their formative years are subject to a host of problems. Studies by such international experts as John Bowlby, Michael Lamb, Jay Belsky and M.D.S. Ainsworth have shown that children who spend a good deal of time away from their mothers in the first several years of life develop a number of emotional/ psychological problems which plague them throughout life.

A child’s self-esteem, security and sense of worth are all negatively affected as a result of separation from its mother, especially in infancy. Moreover, one’s view of motherhood and family is strongly shaped by the treatment one receives as a young child.
billmuehlenberg.com/1991/03/10/a-review-of-home-by-choice-facing-the-effects-of-mothers-absence-by-brenda-hunter/

And in another piece I quoted from child expert Penelope Leach:

“However carefully she is fed, washed and protected, and however many mobiles are hung for her, a baby’s overall care is not good enough to ensure her optimal development unless she is constantly with people who know her as an individual and who always have the time (and usually the inclination) to listen to and answer her; to cuddle and play, show and share. These are the people she will attach herself to and that attachment matters.”

One mother expressed this well when she said recently:

While I – and most of my friends – were saying our minds were ‘too good’ to stay at home and raise our children, none of us ever asked the question, ‘Then what sort of minds should be raising our children – minds that were not very good?’ My carefully worded advertisements for childcare literally came back to haunt me. . . . I wanted someone who would encourage my children’s creativity, take them on interesting outings, answer all their little questions, and rock them to sleep. I wanted someone who would be a ‘part of the family.’ Slowly, painfully, after really thinking about what I wanted for my children and rewriting advertisement after advertisement, I came to the stunning realization that the person I was looking for was right under my nose. I had been desperately trying to hire me.

Or as anthropologist Margaret Mead once noted concerning the radical shifts that must take place to break the mother-child bond:

The mother’s nurturing tie to her child is apparently so deeply rooted in the actual biological conditions of conception and gestation, birth and suckling, that only fairly complicated social arrangements can break it down entirely. . . . Women may be said to be mothers unless they are taught to deny their child-bearing qualities. Society must distort their sense of themselves, pervert their inherent growth-patterns, perpetuate a series of learning-outrages upon them, before they will cease to want to provide, at least for a few years, for the child they have already nourished for nine months within the safe circle of their own bodies.
billmuehlenberg.com/1998/04/30/questions-about-child-care/

Just moments ago I overheard on the evening news yet another story about which political party spends more on day care. No one – not even conservative parties – seem to give a rip about the overwhelming importance of mothers and motherhood. But we snub them and devalue them at our own peril, as I documented here: billmuehlenberg.com/2009/05/05/the-importance-of-motherhood/

One of the most important quotes on this matter comes from social analyst Peter Drucker who said some decades ago, “We are busily unmaking one of the proudest social achievements in the nineteenth century, which was to take married women out of the work force so they could devote themselves to family and children.”

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11 Responses to Children Go to the Back of the Queue

  • When conservative politicians try to outdo the progressives on giving our tax dollars to child care centres to take kids away from parents in the name of “early childhood education”, who is left for us to vote for?

    We need a new conservative preferably openly Christian party that will run candidates in all seats so we have a real choice.

  • My own mother was ashamed and belittled me for forsaking career to raise and teach our children, with great fulfilment living simply ‘so others may simply live’. The fruit speaks for itself – peaceful and happy young adults who love the Lord and are committed to serving Him and their society. Children with Mum at home for them truly are blessed.

  • Mothers and fathers should be respected when they look after their children. Stay-at-home mothers should be respected by society. People will not want to be parents if this does not happen. Why do a job when society has no respect for it?

  • Years ago “The Phil Donahue Show” (a talk show on American television) featured a British woman who was an economic expert and the married mother of ten children. She explained why the working mother role that has become so commonplace — or necessary — in developed nations. She said that once women entered the workforce, the “real” wages needed for an acceptable standard of living (in relation to the economy and cost of living) dropped by 50 percent, so that two incomes (with each being inadequate) now are needed to meet the expenses the husband’s original “real” wages could meet.

    Although well educated, this woman had chosen to be a stay-at-home mother to her ten children, and she believed her dedication to the home and to the children was more important than any money she could earn. I regret I cannot recall her name or give any more details, but I believe she was correct in her explanation of a subject she had studied and researched very
    well.

    Personally I have noticed that students and even adults who were reared by day care facilities have a more aggressive and selfish attitude than those reared by stay-at-home mothers and/or loving family members. To make matters worse, the American public school system has encouraged this aggression because of its belief that aggressive children have self confidence and initiative that will lead to success later in life. My own children often were very uncomfortable dealing with such classmates and with the disapproval of teachers who favored the aggressive students. Any child who was victimized was considered “a wimp” and “not with it” whenever a difficulty arose, and it was heartbreaking to see my children, who had been taught Christian values, struggle with the lack of reward for their efforts and the lack of protection from dishonesty and mistreatment at school. I gave them the same advice my father had given my siblings and me, that they should consider school a job where they did not have to be popular or involved except for their studies and that after school all of us would have “family time” at home. I believe this advice helped my children deal with the school situation and become the fine people they are today.

  • The premier reason for the high cost of living today is the federal reserves constant inflating of the money supply to pay for all sorts of rubbish. All this is just another tax that we pay through higher prices and since the poor use much more of their income on consumer goods it hurts them the most.

  • Thanks Bill, again as always you are right and bring conviction to how painfully horrible this situation is. The enemy has taken us so deeply into his depths of evil we no longer value the most valuable and no longer recognize evil when it’s right in front of our faces. We place more value on new “stuff” than staying at home with our most precious gifts from God [and I do realize I don’t have the entire story about this ladies life].

    Thank you for shedding His light once again on how far western society has sunk.

    Louise : /

  • Suzanna,
    Thanks for your 5-star comment.
    Your mother could have looked for the mother in you, but instead, she looked for the world and it seems she was disappointed not to find it there.
    Your children looked for a mother they didn’t find it in a paid stranger but in you, their mother. isn’t it sad that isn’t the norm for all children? Your children have some of your DNA, but more importantly, they have your values and not the values of paid strangers. When your children needed a hand to hold yours was the first one to take theirs and the last one to let go. When your sons marry, they will know what to look for in a wife and a mother for their children since they will look at you as their measure. When your daughters marry they will already know the value of a mothers love since you have provided that which they will pass on. You may think it ends there if you did, then you would be wrong since you are a role model to those like me who will follow in your footsteps.

  • The problem is, Child, Children, Mother, Father are connected to that evil institution known as, Family and if you are not very careful it may slip further into the evils of Marriage. Do not misunderstand me here, I’m not against marriage, as long as it’s reserved for same-sex couples. Further, I do understand some of those clumps of cells are required as taxpayers to pay the pension of the useful fools when they retire. We have shamed mothers into work, even though it’s damaging to their own children. The next step is to provide cyanide for those who are too old or disabled to be taxpayers any longer, just push the line, career is where your self-worth is, no career, no self-worth, then hand them the cyanide. We need to be careful those pesky Christians haven’t got any time on their hands to ask some difficult questions of us, but if they look like they are getting inquisitive, just tell them in 4-years-time they will have the opportunity to vote for another government who do not hold any of their values. It’s important we focus them on, it’s the power of the government that will solve their problems, otherwise, they will pray to their God and if they do that we will finish up with a Christian nation again. So remember the way we play the voting scam is to offer them two or more parties who do not hold any of their values and explain to them it’s their duty to vote, as people have sacrificed their lives so they may do so, of course, they will not realise they are effectively going into a shop to buy milk and the shop owner says, we do not have any milk, so here is a cabbage instead. Don’t worry they fall for the same scam over and over again.

  • Isn’t it profound how covetousness and the socialist mindset have made us blind to the obvious evidence that institutionalized raising of children is flawed. The whole issue is extremely complex, of course, but what happens, is exactly what the scriptures say. You end up working hard to put your money in a bag with holes (Hag 1:6). The Biblical emphasis on the importance of the family (the real, biological family) is not for no reason. Socialist nations did not end up with people desperate for simple things like a pair of jeans or a daughter or a new, actually functional car or even a nice house, despite people working very hard, for no reason. Love of money is definitely the root of evils and socialism and family breakdown are two examples.

  • Dear Bill, This is something very dear to my heart and I have got to say there is one conservative Party I know that has fought for women to be assisted to stay in the home to look after their children, and that is the ‘only truly’ Christian Party started by Fred Nile. He could see from the beginning of his 38 years in parliament what the world was up to with pushing women back into the workplace as early as possible by gradually , gradually stripping all the assistance from families whose mothers stayed at home and giving more and more to those who would go back to work. You will find it recorded in Hansard how he has stood up for families right through his time in parliament and his colleague Paul Green MP who is standing for Re-election in NSW is just as staunch in the stance “For God and the Family”. Please give your support to Paul’s re-election to the Upper House by making sure you vote CDP 1, not 2, as so many Christians think they have given them support by voting them no 2. (40% do that!) That does nothing for CDP at all but if you vote 1 for CDP you can keep numbering and your vote will flow on if Paul doesn’t get elected, and it will not be wasted. Re-electing Paul is so important in our battle for Religious Freedoms in NSW and CDP is also leading the fight to maintain Scripture and Chaplains in schools. They are so committed and worthy of our support. God has given them the Balance of Power for many years and there policy is to look at every Bill going through the Upper House (where all Bills are reviewed) to see the affect it will have on families. They draft many amendments, which nearly almost always get passed to protect families.

  • Unfortunately, many parents fall for the lie that they must buy a house in an expensive suburb and have the flashiest furniture and other possessions. Thus they become slaves to their mortgages. Much better to buy a cheaper property, keep your car, appliances and furniture for as long as possible and hence have the money to raise your family yourself.

    The cost of all parents working is that there is more money to spend, and hence property developers raise the prices to the capacity of the economy to pay. So don’t fall for it; be countercultural and make some material sacrifices for the sake of your children.

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