Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail, and I want to comment on it.
The number of stay-at-home mothers has hit a record low as more women choose to get a job, new figures reveal.
In the last two decades, the number of women who do not work to look after their home and raise their family has dropped by a third to just over 2million.
[…]The number of stay at home mothers and grandmothers has fallen steadily since records began in 1993.
New official figures show that there are only 2.024 million women out of work to look after a home or family, a 31 per cent fall on 2.913 million in spring 1993.
[…]The sharp turnaround comes after 20 years of social and economic change, with parents increasingly sharing the burden of raising a family and many women reluctant to give up their career once they have children.
In socialist countries like the UK, the majority of the people are so accustomed to big government and dependency that they cannot conceive of shrinking government and letting the private sector and families and churches solve any problem. Right now, the current problem is that they are spending too much on huge numbers of social welfare programs that reward selfish, destructive behavior like men not working, single motherhood by choice, unskilled immigration, welfare that is not means-tested, welfare that is not time-limited, and so on. It is a nanny state, and during election times, all the candidates do is talk about how they want to spend the people’s money to be “nice”. So, you can get breast enlargements, sex-changes and in vitro fertilization (IVF) as part of the country’s bloated “health care” system. So the question is: how will they pay for all this “generosity”? Well, all the political parties agree on the answer: it’s to put in places taxes and policies that make it impossible for women to stay home with their kids instead of working.
David Cameron has promised to double free childcare for three and four-year-olds from 15 hours per week during term time to 30 hours.
The Tories argue the measure will ‘help parents who want to work’.
But critics warn it is discriminating against people who do not want to go back to work.
Claire Paye, spokesman for Mothers At Home Matter, said: ‘The government has set arbitrary targets to get mothers into work and to make sure that they are using government funds to pay to look after those children instead of mothers doing it for free.
‘There is a real concern that the drop in stay at home others is because mothers are being priced out of the home.
‘The government’s only focus is to get mothers into work and they will not support any other family model than two parents working.
‘We are concerned that these figures represent families who are no longer able to choose to look after their own children even if they want to.’
In a House of Lords debate this week, the Bishop of Durham said stay at home parents were made to feel that they are ‘somehow not doing the best for the nation or the child’.
Rt Rev Paul Butler warned of the ‘implicit and not so implicit message that it is better to put your child in childcare and go out to work than stay at home and look after your own children’.
So, we have a couple of points in there. Stay-at-home mothers are shamed for “wasting” their education on raising children. Daycare, which is proven to affect children negatively, especially in the first two years, is set forward as praiseworthy. Tax increases force women out of the home to work, in order to maintain the same-standard of living they had before the higher taxes and big government. And those big social programs almost never go to help married couples – they are primarily there to enable a permanent lifestyle of disfunction.
I thought of a couple more problems. Easily obtainable divorce and sole custody for the mother is a major deterrent to men marrying in the UK. So, of course the marriage rate is in a free fall as men stop trying to get married and settle for stress-free jobs that allow them to scrape by as singles. Why work hard just to support a wife when the whole culture is telling her to divorce you and get alimony and child support for life? And you’ll never see your kids again, either. Easy divorce and easy premarital sex sounded like such a good idea to feminist ears, but they never thought about how men would respond to it. Most men just take the free sex that the feminist Sexual Revolution provides, and decline the responsibility of marriage and fatherhood.
Another problem is that Christian parents these days have a different view of the Christian life than I have. If you look at the shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, it’s very clear that parents have a responsibility to teach their kids about God. And that requires a plan to marry well so that the parents have time to teach their kids about God themselves (homeschooling), and put them into schools that will not push secularism on them.
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
As a man, I would of course be delegating a lot of this responsibility to my trusted chief of staff (i.e. – future wife), whose skill in parenting, especially apologetics, would be phenomenal. I would certainly not trust strangers to implement the specification in these Bible verses. If we had to bring in expert Christians – either through Sunday school, lectures, debates and conferences, or through books, DVDs, etc. then we would. But parenting the kids is our responsibility. Secular daycare and secular public schools will not be the main influence on my kids. And I oppose all policies and laws that make the state more influential than us in raising our kids.
Parents have a responsibility to make sure their kids will be Christians into adulthood, and will make a difference for Christ and his Kingdom. But what has happened is that Christianity has become all about me and my feelings. Parents themselves that they don’t have to know whether it’s true, in order to teach it to the children as truth. We think that it just has to make us feel comfortable and peaceful. But that is not the way to raise kids who will make a difference, much less remain Christian in a world like this.