The "M" Word

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Why is the most crucial job in the world so disregarded by the West?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that being a mother is the most important job in the world.

A mother can alter the course of history by the child she gives birth to because she has the potential to raise a Hitler or raise a Mother Teresa.

No one else, not even the president, can do that.

True — a president can push the button. But it’s a woman who gives birth to and raises a man crazy enough to push it.

Ironically, with such a grave task at hand, it’s perplexing and downright disturbing that Western culture has so little regard for the significance of motherhood.

Hillary Clinton summed up this sentiment precisely in her 1992 comment in defense of her choice to be a working mother. She insulted the entire country of stay-at-home-moms and hardworking fathers — when she said, “I suppose I could have stayed home, baked cookies and had teas.”

“And what’s wrong with that?” women who have no choice but to work will ask.

To the 70% of working moms today with kids under 18, staying at home to bake cookies with your kids and drink tea sounds pretty darn good.

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I’m sure Bill and Chelsea would have agreed.

But the vital importance of a mother was long under assault before Clinton’s comment.

There was a time, not so long ago, when a working mother was considered the misfortune of a woman whose husband didn’t earn enough or a woman whose husband had deserted her or a woman whose husband had died.

These working women made up only 10% of the population. The American people were unified in their belief that children were better served by a mother staying home to care for them.

Western society was organized in a way that afforded most women what has now become a luxury — the choice to stay home.

Gauging by the high rates of mental disorders, addictive problems, and general discontent of the American people, something has gone drastically wrong.

While there are multiple factors one can point to, if we ignore the importance of a mother’s presence in a child’s life, we do it to our own peril and to the peril of society.

Childhood is where it all begins. And any child will tell you that life is bleak without his mother around.

I remember the day my mother, because of unfortunate circumstances, was forced to go to work. I was six. I know what it’s like to have a mother at home, and I know what it’s like to not. And, I can tell you first hand, that your house feels empty, you feel abandoned, and you feel lonely when she’s no longer there.

Telling your child you have to go to work doesn’t make it any better.

Children are too young to understand economics and house payments and electricity bills.

Gabor Matte wrote a book called, Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers.

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While it doesn’t speak directly to this issue, his extensive studies in addictive behavior led him to conclude that the most critical factor in a child’s life, the determining factor between emotional health and addictive disorders was the bond between the child and his parents.

I’m going to take it a step further and say the primary bond between the child and his mother is paramount to raising an emotionally healthy child. Both parents matter, but the beginning sets the stage for what’s to follow.

Not to disregard fathers, at all, for they are vitally important to a child’s well-being, too, but the primary attachment, historically, has always gone to the mother for practical and natural reasons.

A mother carries her baby for nine months, and she breastfeeds her child. She is, by design, the primary caregiver. If the primary attachment is strong, the child will be able to form healthy attachments with others.

We know that African babies, who are carried on the back of their mothers, grow up to be more compassionate than people in the west, who don’t carry their babies everywhere they go.

There are some in favor of the choice to reverse the roles of mother and father, or share it more equally, but there’s wisdom in following nature’s direction.

It’s no secret that children who enter daycare and preschool have more physical and emotional problems than children who stay home with their mothers.

Sometimes it feels like there’s a silent agreement to not talk about it. People have told me not to write about it. “It’s too hot of an issue,” they say.

It’s because, as mothers, the situation eats away at our hearts.

The “M” Word

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Researchers found that the more time kids spent in “non-maternal” care during the first 4.5 years of life, the more behavioral problems they developed. — National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD).

In Copenhagen, “researchers found that during their first six months attending daycare, children younger than one year of age have a 69 percent higher rate of hospital admittance for acute respiratory infection than babies who are cared for at home.” according to the Baby Center in Canada.

What about the children who go into daycare during infancy and die of “no apparent cause” according to our highly developed and nominalist medical industry? Has a broken heart never occurred to anyone? Or would that be too unscientific?

If so, then science defies common sense.

Three-month-old Karl Scorah, a child from a loving home, was put into daycare because his mother had no choice but to return to work or she would lose her job. Reluctantly, and with a grieving heart, she handed her most precious gift to a daycare worker. And a few hours later her baby was dead.

Adults can die from a broken heart. Why not children? “Cause undetermined,” the medical experts declared.

Cause undetermined? The cause is staring us right in the face!

Read the tragic story of Amber Scorah to see exactly how this plays out. Had Amber known her baby’s fate beforehand, you bet she would have done anything to avoid going to work that day, even if it meant losing her job—

 

“I would have sacrificed anything. I would have quit my job. I would have carried him around on my back collecting recycling cans and bottles.”

—Amber Scorah

Our kids might not die, as dear Amber’s little Karl did, but leaving them with strangers too soon chips away at their hearts. How can it not?

Is it a coincidence that violent crimes have risen amongst our youth during the past forty years?

The cold-blooded little Hitlers lurking about.

Note Jesse Osborne, a 14-year-old who kissed his pet animals goodbye one morning, then killed his father and went to school where he killed a six-year-old boy before his gun jammed, preventing him from killing any more kids, all because he was mad at his father for something about his homework.

I don’t need to belabor the point as we all know scenarios like this happen too often today. Children commit the crimes of adults now. Neil Postman wrote about this years ago in his book, The Disappearance of Childhood.

The increase of mental illness amongst children has gone from about 1% in 1970 to 15% today. That’s a significant increase that affects a lot of people, as many bereaved parents will tell you.

Daily mass shootings happen more days than not in America.

Is there something chipping away at the hearts of our children?

While a lot has changed in the past 50 years, one thing that hasn’t changed is that kids still need their mothers at home when they’re young.

Motherhood deserves its fair due, and so do children. I have no idea where we should start, other than downsizing if we have anything more to downsize, but we do need to find ways to build a society where more of us can stay home with our kids.

Children deserve the right to experience a home life where we aren’t exhausted from working two jobs (one inside the home, one outside the home), and where kids can enjoy the aroma of freshly baked cookies and a hug when they need it.

And for those of us who do have a choice, I say, to hell with the Joneses. Our kids are more important.
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Elizabeth Y. Hanson teaches parents the secrets and skills to raising brighter children with a focus on getting the early years right. She is the founder of Smart Homeschooler™ and has been a consultant and researcher in children’s education since 2001.

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