Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Devaluing Children (and Motherhood)

Recently I had a conversation with a conservative friend I'll call Jay and a liberal acquaintance I'll call Nancy.

Nancy does contracting work with various companies, and she had recently lost her main contract. She told us how much she liked her free time, but wasn't happy about losing the income. She said her husband asked her how she likes being a stay-at-home mom. She told him, "Don't call me that. That's not what I am!" She said she preferred to be considered unemployed.

My friend Jay, whose wife is a homeschooling mom of five, said, "There's honor in taking care of children."

Nancy replied that she doesn't look down on women who take care of their children, but it's not for her. She said, "There's a reason for daycare!" Then she talked about how in the summer she has a full-time babysitter for one child and how she keeps the other child in camps all summer.

I didn't really comment to her, as nothing I could say would make her view her children differently.

Yes, there is a reason for daycare, just as there is a reason for kennels. Some people use daycare for short intervals when they need someone to watch their children, much as others would use a kennel to care for their pets while they are on vacation.

But if someone boarded his pet at a kennel for months at a time, it would make you wonder why he had the pet if he didn't want to spend any time with it. For people like Nancy who don't want their children near them any more than is possible, I wonder why they conceived children in the first place. Or why they don't make an adoption plan so their children can have parents who actually care about them.

Nancy is not alone. Our culture views children as a bother and a burden, not as a gift from God. Is it any wonder that so many children have neither affection nor respect for their parents?

No work that I do will ever be more important than the work of raising my children. While some families don't have the financial ability to have a parent take care of their children, I am thankful for the sacrifices my parents made to allow my mother to take care of and educate me at home. And I'm thankful for a wife who views our children as her most important responsibility.

Truly, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."


Wesley Wilson is the President of
Let Her Live, a nonprofit dedicated to saving babies by showing the beauty and value of life to women considering abortion. Please learn more about the Let Her Live pro-life billboard campaign. Donations are tax deductible.

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