Regarding the article “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” by Cammie Jones in the October edition of Augusta Family magazine: Ms. Jones has it wrong. The question of whether a mother should provide daily care for her children is anything but difficult, if your mind and heart are in the right place.
I am a stay-at-home mother of a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old. Before I made the decision to stay at home, I was a successful master’s-degreed career woman. The birth of my firstborn changed my life. I had planned to have the baby, spend eight weeks with him at home then slip back into my full-time job.
I was so naïve. After only one day of leaving my baby with a nanny, I accepted what I had been denying. God had given me a new job: mother. I felt guilty that it took me personally witnessing this nanny’s neglect to get me to do my new job. I resigned from my position the next day. It was bittersweet, but my boss was happy, my husband was happy, I was happy and, most importantly, my baby was happy.
Let’s examine the real reason many mothers choose a job outside of the home. The financial excuse is lame at best. Common sense tells us that you buy what you can afford. If you live on one salary, you buy what you can afford with one salary. I don’t shop secondhand, but I did downgrade my sports car for a compact car. A child’s fondest memory won’t be that her mother picked her up from day care in a luxury SUV or had an impressive investment portfolio.
The truth is that the mother does not want to change her life and make raising her children the priority. But that’s one of the great things about America. A woman can choose what she will do with her life. At least one of the “employed” mothers in the article admitted that she would rather be with her co-workers all day than her own children.
Next to self-gratification, the feminist revolution of the 1960s and ’70s was a driving force in stripping babies out of their mothers’ arms. The movement leaders were telling mothers that they weren’t worth anything unless they, too, had jobs like men. The result? A generation of children who were not raised, but simply housed by day care or individuals who really didn’t have a vested interest in them other than a paycheck.
Deep down, these mothers must know that they’re not giving 100 percent at home or work. They’re stretched so thin that they’re invisible to their children, significant others, employers and even themselves. How sad is that?
So instead of publishing a piece that glamorizes the working mother and uses antiquated talking points about “staying at home,” it probably wouldn’t hurt – considering the current condition our society – if media were to offer its readers a pro-stay-at-home-mom perspective.
Lisa S. Leonard
North Augusta, S.C.